Shoulder Pain Treatments and Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder pain is an orthopedic condition that may stem from many different causes, such as trauma, sports injuries and degenerative conditions. Some types of shoulder pains resolve on their own without treatment, while others may require rehabilitation or surgery to restore functionality and provide pain relief. We offer expert shoulder pain treatments and shoulder replacement surgery in New Jersey, close to home.

At RWJBarnabas Health, our orthopedic centers offer diagnostic services and treatment options for a wide variety of shoulder injuries and chronic shoulder pain.

Our multidisciplinary teams of orthopedic surgeons, physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, care coordinators and medical professionals lead the way in providing compassionate care to all of our patients.

We help you restore shoulder function and range of motion so you can enjoy a more active, pain-free life.

About the Shoulder

As one of the largest and most complex joints in the body, the shoulder facilitates many functions, from typing to performing household tasks, to playing sports. Formed where the upper arm bone fits into the shoulder blade, the structure resembles and performs like a ball and socket.

The shoulder itself is made of the following primary bones, including:

  • The humerus. Also known as the upper-arm bone.
  • The scapula. Also known as the shoulder blade.
  • The clavicle. Also known as the collarbone.

This ball and socket joint is surrounded by soft tissues to hold the components together. Lining the joint is a thin membrane, known as synovium, which produces fluid to lubricate and protect the joint. As with other joints, a network of cartilage also serves to protect the joint and facilitate movement.

Other important structures in the shoulder include:

  • The biceps tendon. This tendon attaches from the shoulder socket to the bicep muscle and allows a person to bend their elbow as well as rotate their forearm.
  • The rotator cuff. This cartilage ring surrounds the shoulder socket to provide joint stability. The rotator cuff is the source of many sports injuries as it is responsible for assisting with heavy loads and wide ranges of motion.
  • Deltoid. This strong muscle provides strength to lift the arm.

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt? Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Some of the most common reasons for shoulder pain include:

  • Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 different conditions involving the swelling of the joints — the places in the body where two bones meet. It includes joint disease that is caused by wear and tear, and well as inflammatory or rheumatologic conditions such as:
    • Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease characterized primarily by the destruction of cartilage and narrowing of the joint space
    • Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune and inflammatory disease affecting joints
    • Psoriatic arthritis, a progressive, chronic inflammatory condition of the joints and the places where the tendons and ligaments attach to bones
  • Severe fractures and trauma. Complex bone breaks or trauma near the shoulder can potentially heal improperly and lead to arthritic conditions that require treatment.
  • Severely damaged or torn tissue. Sustaining a powerful impact, operating heavy machinery or handling heavy weights can occasionally cause severe damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments and result in pain and joint instability that requires treatment.
  • Tumor in or near the shoulder. Occasionally, scapula, humerus, clavicle or soft tissue tumors may develop in the shoulder area, which may cause pain, muscle weakness or loss of feeling that spreads to other areas. If left untreated, this may lead to further damage and tissue and bone degeneration.

Shoulder Pain Treatment

If you are suffering from shoulder pain, whether it is the result of an accident, aging or of unknown origin, it is important to get medical advice from an orthopedic physician or surgeon. A medical examination allows your orthopedic specialist to identify and assess the cause of your shoulder pain and the progression of the illness if present.

Before advising shoulder replacement surgery, your orthopedist may counsel you on lifestyle changes that may alleviate your symptoms of shoulder pain. Your doctor may also prescribe treatments and therapies to help minimize discomfort and restore mobility. They may include:

  • Rest
  • Ice packs
  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Injections
  • Physical therapy

Shoulder Replacement Surgery in New Jersey

If standard shoulder pain treatments don’t relieve your pain or enable you move around as easily as you would like, shoulder replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, is an option.

RWJBarnabas Health offers advanced shoulder replacement surgery in New Jersey. We are the largest health care network in the state. Our expert, board-certified orthopedic surgeons and physicians guide patients through every stage of their shoulder replacement journey, from preoperative preparation to at-home recovery.

Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Shoulder replacement surgery involves removing the damaged joint tissue and bone and replacing them with an artificial ball and socket made with high-grade plastics and metal alloys. This treatment is intended to both relieve pain and restore function for patients with arthritis and injuries. Patients should notice a difference immediately after the surgery is over, though some pain is expected during post-surgery recovery.

When combined with physical therapy, most patients can resume light activities within 2 to 3 weeks. After 6 months, many patients can expect to resume normal physical activity, including sports and exercise.

Partial Shoulder Replacement (Hemiarthroplasty)

Partial shoulder replacement is an option for those whose shoulder has only been partially damaged or fractured and who have not achieved pain relief from other therapies. In partial shoulder replacement, the damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and reconstructed with prosthetics.

This surgery is less invasive than a total shoulder replacement, meaning patients can experience faster recovery times. After undergoing a period of physical therapy, patients are expected to regain full shoulder function.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

A reverse shoulder replacement is a creative solution to a complex problem. For some people who have torn rotator cuffs that cannot be repaired, or rotator cuffs or tendons that have been damaged by arthritis, or complex fractures in the shoulder, traditional shoulder replacement parts may not work. They would depend too much on weakened or ineffective rotator cuff or rotator cuff tendons to function, and cause pain and limited motion.

A reverse shoulder replacement changes the orientation of the joint to rely on the deltoid muscle to help the implant function instead of the rotator cuff.

Traditional shoulder replacement parts mimic the natural shape of a human shoulder. It is a ball-and-socket joint, with the ball at the top of the arm bone that fits into the socket in the shoulder. In a reverse shoulder joint, the prosthetic implant has the ball on the top fitting into the socket that is implanted into the arm bone. This reversal changes the stress of the movement to the deltoid muscle rather than the rotator cuff.

Revision Shoulder Replacement

When shoulder replacements fail, they may need to be replaced, in whole or in part. Sometimes older parts wear out or cause wear on the bones, or infection. Revision shoulder surgery is surgery in which part or all of the implanted prosthetic parts from a previous shoulder replacement are replaced with newer components. At RWJBarnabas Health facilities, our highly skilled, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons are experts in performing this complex procedure.

Do you feel that shoulder replacement may be right for you? Make an appointment with our compassionate orthopedic team today.

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

Patient Stories

  • “The procedure is a game changer, the result is a life changer”

    Richard
    Read More
  • “I got a round of applause!”

    Anne
    Read More
  • “It was a good experience... I felt comfortable from the moment I got to the hospital through the entire stay.”

    Dan
    Read More

Patient Stories

  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
RWJ Rehabilitation at Delaware Valley
123 Franklin Corner Rd.
Suite 103
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(609) 896-9054
View
Medical Specialty Services at Bayonne
16 East 29th Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
(973) 926-7280
View
Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center
377 Jersey Avenue
Ground Floor, Medical Office Building
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(877) 393-5374
View
Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
200 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7000
View
Community Medical Center’s Comprehensive Breast Center
368 Lakehurst Rd
1st Floor
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-3363
View
RWJPE Sports Medicine New Jersey
186 County Road 520
Suite 3
Morganville, NJ 07751
(732) 946-2100
View
RWJ Balance & Hearing Center
2 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton Township, NJ 08690
(609) 245-7390
View
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Howell
4013 Route 9
Suite 2S
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 923-7700
View
The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Colts Neck
310 Route 34 South
Second Floor
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 923-7700
View
RWJ Sports Physical Therapy at Bridgewater
1 Patriots Park
TD Bank Park
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 203-5972
View
RWJ Sports Physical Therapy at Flemington
295 State Highway 31/202
Flemington, NJ 08822
(908) 806-2000
View
Care Connection at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
4th floor
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 499-6460
View
RWJ Sports Physical Therapy at Hillsborough
1 Jill Court
Building 16 Suite 20
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
(908) 359-8800
View
RWJ Sports Physical Therapy at Princeton
743 Alexander Road
Suite 2
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 419-0455
View
Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest
760 Northfield Avenue, Suite 210A
West Orange, NJ 07052
(973) 325-9100
View
Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
View
Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
View
Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
View
Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
View
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
View
Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
View
Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
View
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at RWJUH
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
View
RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
View
RWJBarnabas Health at Exchange Place
95 Greene Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 499-8720
View
RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
View
Trinitas Regional Medical Center – Williamson Street Campus
225 Williamson St
Elizabeth, NJ 07202
(908) 994-5000
View
The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
300 2nd Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7250
View
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center – East Brunswick
645 State Route 18
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
(888) 244-5373
View
RWJ Physical Therapy at Carteret
60 Cooke Avenue
Carteret, NJ 07008
(732) 969-8030
View
RWJ Physical Therapy at Scotch Plains
2120 Lamberts Mill Road
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
(908) 389-5400
View
Jersey City Medical Center's Ambulatory Care Center
395 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07304
(201) 915-2410
View
RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
View
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
View
Jersey City Medical Center Women's Health at Grove Street
116 Newark Avenue
(at Grove Street PATH Plaza)
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 984-1270
View
RWJ Hamilton Diagnostic & Treatment Center
1 Sheffield Drive
Suite 202
Columbus, NJ 08022
(609) 584-6640
View
RWJ Rehabilitation - Columbus
1 Sheffield Drive
Columbus, NJ 08022
(609) 227-4592
View
Jersey City Medical Center Outpatient Services at Colony Plaza
414 Grand Street
Suite 14
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 616-0470
View
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
View
RWJ Rehabilitation - Hamilton
3100 Quakerbridge Road
Hamilton, NJ 08619
(609) 584-6640
View
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center – Egg Harbor Township
6106 Black Horse Pike
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
(609) 645-7779
View
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center – Clifton
1135 Broad Street
Clifton, NJ 07013
(973) 365-3071
View
Trinitas Children's Therapy Services
899 Mountain Ave
Suite 1-A
Springfield, NJ 07081
(973) 218-6394
View
The Family Health Center (FHC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
166 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
View
RWJ Physical Therapy at New Brunswick
100 Kirkpatrick Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 545-0494
View
The Center for Ambulatory Surgery
1450 Route 22 West
Mountainside, NJ 07092
(888) 590-6849
View
Short Hills Surgery Center
187 Millburn Avenue
Suite 102
Milburn, NJ 07041
(973) 671-0555
View
Hudson Crossing Surgery Center
2 Executive Drive
Suite 102
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
(201) 470-6977
View
RWJ Rehabilitation Lawrenceville
4152 Quakerbridge Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(609) 245-7420
View
Cancer Center at RWJ Hamilton
2575 Klockner Road
Hamilton Township, NJ 08690
(609) 631-6960
View
Children's Specialized Hospital Outpatient Center – Union
2840 Morris Avenue
Kenneth Esdale Pavilion
Union, NJ 07083
(888) 244-5373
View
Jersey City Medical Center Rehabilitation Services
100 Town Square Place
Suite 208
Jersey City, NJ 07310
(201) 915-2000
View

Orthopedics Treatment & Care

offered at these locations in your neighborhood

View All Locations