February 26, 2020

Some conditions and injuries become more common as you age. As an experienced Austin shoulder surgeon, I’ve seen many varieties of shoulder injuries, but some are more common than others for people over 50. If you’ve ever hurt your shoulder, you know how frustrating the experience can be, and how the best course of action is to start the recovery process as quickly as possible. If you have recently suffered from an injury, please don’t hesitate to contact an Austin shoulder surgeon and get the healing process started today. 

These are the top 4 shoulder injuries for people over 50 per the Austin shoulder surgeon:

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injuries are extremely common in older individuals, and the risk of a rotator cuff tear increases as you age. 

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Some rotator cuff injuries can be healed and strengthened through physical therapy alone, while others may need surgery to repair the tear before starting the rehabilitation process through physical therapy exercises. Due to the rotator cuff degenerating as you age, rotator cuff tears affect 40% of the population over the age of 70.

Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae – small, fluid-filled sacs found near joints. They act as a cushion between moving parts in the joint to stop muscles, bones, and tendons from rubbing together.

This issue becomes more common as you age, due to your chest muscles becoming disproportionately stronger than your rotator cuffs, which in turn, pulls on them and causes inflammation and irritation. 

Adhesive Capsulitis 

Adhesive Capsulitis, more commonly known as frozen shoulder, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. 

Treatment for adhesive capsulitis can include range-of-motion exercises, medications and occasionally arthroscopic surgery. This condition is most commonly found in a female in her 5th to 7th decade of life.  

Clavicle Fracture

A clavicle fracture is also known as a broken collarbone. This occurs when a bone is fractured on your clavicle, and symptoms include pain at the site of the break as well as loss of range in motion on the affected arm. 

Clavicle fractures account for about 5 percent of all adult fractures. The best way to treat a clavicle fracture until you can see a physician is by immobilizing the arm and shoulder by holding the arm close to the body with the other arm or in a sling and icing the affected area for 30 minutes at a time.

With how common shoulder injuries and conditions are with people over 50, we urge you not to wait to get treated if you know you are suffering from one. Due to the many common issues associated with the shoulder as you age and how often you use it in your range of motion, it’s imperative that you get a professional opinion as soon as you can and don’t wait to get treated until your condition has worsened. If you have any questions about an injury or if you’ve been living in pain for years, please reach out to us. We’d love nothing more than to get you back to pain-free living!