Sports Shoulder Care

Many sports involve repetitive overhead arm motions that can cause shoulder injuries, such as tendinitis, bursitis, sprains, strains, bone fractures, separations, dislocations, and torn rotator cuffs.

The experienced Sports Medicine team at UT Southwestern can evaluate and treat all forms of shoulder injury and pain, helping you minimize downtime and return to your sport or activity as quickly and safely as possible.

We’re experts in diagnosing and treating shoulder joint and shoulder muscle injuries and can provide the most advanced nonsurgical care available or the latest minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. Our orthopaedic surgeons are trusted by athletes throughout the community.

Sports Shoulder Injury Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of sports-related shoulder injuries can include:

  • Pain or stiffness in the shoulder and upper arm
  • Swelling
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Restricted range of motion
  • In case of shoulder dislocation or separation, the bone or joint may be visibly out of place


Sports-related shoulder conditions that may respond to treatment include:

  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder muscle injuries and strains
  • Tears of the labrum, rotator cuff, or tendons
  • Shoulder dislocation or separation
  • Acromioclavicular (ACL) joint injury
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Tendinitis, pitcher’s shoulder, or swimmer’s shoulder
  • Shoulder arthritis


To diagnose your sports-related shoulder injury, we'll ask about your medical history and conduct a physical examination. We also may suggest X-rays, arthograms (X-rays of the joints), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


In many cases, our sports medicine specialists can successfully treat sports-related shoulder pain and injury without surgery.

Less severe shoulder injuries often can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Your orthopaedic specialist may suggest rehabilitative exercises to strengthen the muscles in the shoulder and prevent future injury, anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling, or an immobilizing device such as a cast or brace.

In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to properly treat your shoulder injury. Your surgeon will use the least invasive surgical methods available.

We will work with you to choose a personalized treatment plan that will get you back in action quickly and with the best long-term outcome.

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.

Sports Shoulder Specialists