Shoulder Care

The shoulder, the body's most moveable joint, is particularly prone to instability, which can lead to pain and injury – of the bones themselves and/or its many muscles, ligaments, and tendons needed to properly support them. 

Common shoulder injuries include:

  • Tendon inflammation, such as bursitis and tendinitis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Dislocations and separations
  • Rotator cuff injuries, which involve both muscles and tendons
  • Tendon tears
  • Arthritis
  • Shoulder instability, which can become chronic
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Adhesive capsulitis (“frozen shoulder”)

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s orthopaedics team evaluates and treats the full spectrum of shoulder conditions – from simple strains to arthritis to complex injuries.

Our board-certified orthopaedic specialists provide highly individualized care for patients of all ages and activity levels, creating a comprehensive treatment program for each specific condition.


Patients with shoulder pain and injury can experience symptoms that include:

  • An obviously out of place or misshapen scapula, clavicle, or humerus
  • Pain, ranging from mild to severe
  • Restricted movement
  • Swelling, tenderness, bruising, or numbness


Shoulder pain and injuries usually are diagnosed using a combination of the patient’s history and reported activities, a physical examination, and imaging.

The type of imaging used depends upon the location, severity, and type of suspected injury or condition – and might include X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), arthograms (X-rays of the joints), or computed tomography (CT).


UT Southwestern’s orthopaedic medicine specialists are able to successfully treat many patients with shoulder injuries and disorders nonsurgically.

Conservative therapies include RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), medications to reduce inflammation, and immobilizing devices such as slings.

Your orthopaedic surgeon may suggest rehabilitative exercises to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder and prevent future injury and may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling. If needed, your surgeon may also prescribe an immobilizing device such as a cast or brace. 

When surgery is necessary, our experienced surgeons use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. They are also skilled at performing highly complex procedures such as total shoulder and reverse shoulder replacements.

UT Southwestern physicians work with you to choose the treatment plan that will alleviate shoulder pain, restore function, and result in the best possible long-term outcomes. 

Clinical Trials

Our orthopaedics team is involved in clinical trials that seek to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat shoulder injuries.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist at UT Southwestern or to learn more about our services, please fill out the Appointment Request form or call 214-645-8300.

Doctors Specializing in Shoulder Care