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As the region's most preferred orthopedic practice, our doctors at Appalachian Orthopedics are dedicated to providing expert care for patients' shoulder injuries and conditions.

Shoulder doctors are specialty-trained orthopedic providers who can diagnose and treat people with a wide variety of shoulder injuries and conditions that are causing them pain. Sometimes, these specialists help a patient coping with shoulder problems caused by a disease, such as arthritis. Other times, the issue may be due to an injury, a nerve condition, or a fracture.

Made up of three bones called the scapula, clavicle, and humerus, the shoulder is at a higher risk for fractures than some other joints because it is highly unstable. When a shoulder specialist examines a patient, he or she will look at these bones to see how they have been damaged. However, the shoulder also includes connective and soft tissues such as muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons, including the rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons that house the shoulder joint. Any of these bones or tissues can become injured and painful and motivate a patient to seek out a shoulder doctor. 

A shoulder doctor may also need to treat a sports-related issue. For instance, a patient may have an overuse injury in their shoulder caused by playing golf or tennis too much. Sometimes, but not always, the only treatment needed is to take a break from the activity that caused the pain or to rest and ice the area so it can heal. Other times, a more comprehensive level of care is needed if the shoulder injury is more severe.

Sometimes, the pain felt is actually based in the elbow or another part of the arm. That’s why it is wise to work with an orthopedic specialist who understands the anatomy of the entire arm, including the hand, wrist, and elbow as well as the shoulder. The doctor may treat the patient using a nonsurgical procedure, an arthroscopic procedure, or another type of surgery. Examples of shoulder surgery the doctor may perform include shoulder replacement, reverse shoulder replacement, acromioclavicular joint reconstruction, biceps tenodesis, or rotator cuff repair.

Should You See a Shoulder Doctor?                                                             

It may be time to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Chronic shoulder pain
  • Grinding sensation when you move your arm
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness or tingling in the shoulder
  • Shoulder pain that travels down into the elbow and forearm
  • Tingling in the hands

These problems may indicate that you are dealing with a shoulder injury or condition, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Biceps tendonitis
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
  • Impingement
  • Labral tears (sometimes called SLAP tears or labrum tears)
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Sports-related injuries 
  • Subacromial bursitis
  • Tennis elbow (can cause both elbow and shoulder pain)

Specialized Shoulder Care You Can Trust

Our specialty-trained shoulder doctors at Appalachian Orthopedics, Dr. Charles Barnes, Dr. Jason Brashear, Dr. Jonathan Clark, Dr. Benjamin England, Dr. Michael Fleenor, Dr. James Goss, Dr. Gabriel Hommel, Dr. Thomas Huddleston, Dr. Bart McKinney, Dr. Reagan Parr, Dr. John Phillips, Dr. Larry Waldrop, and Dr. T. Lisle Whitman, have a full understanding of the shoulder's anatomy and are dedicated to delivering an exceptional level of shoulder care. They will apply their expertise directly to your situation and can guide you toward treatments that help reduce pain and restore you to optimal health. Our surgeons always carefully consider nonsurgical options first before recommending surgery. Early on, they may take X-rays so they can further study the shoulder and surrounding structures to determine which nonsurgical treatment may be right for you, such as physical therapy or injections. If shoulder surgery is ultimately needed, rest assured that our orthopedic experts will use their advanced skills along with our state-of-the-art technology to perform a surgical procedure that can help reduce or eliminate your pain and help you gain the use of your shoulder again.

Working alongside our shoulder surgeons, our licensed physical therapists provide a full and comprehensive set of outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation services. They treat each patient's problem individually through an evaluation to design a specific treatment plan with the overall goal of restoring function and enhancing one's quality of life.

If your shoulder pain is keeping you from living an active life, schedule an appointment with one of our expert shoulder surgeons to diagnose and treat your shoulder issue by requesting an appointment online or calling one of our three locations: Bristol – Hospital, Bristol Midway, or Johnson City.

For those acute shoulder injuries that can't wait to be seen, visit our OrthoAccess Walk-In Clinic at our Johnson City or Bristol Midway offices.