Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is the shoulder stiff?

One of the common ways shoulder arthritis presents itself is with stiffness of the shoulder, that is a lack of the normal range of motion. We like to be able to measure the range of motion in a standardized way so we can determine the severity of the stiffness as well as the progress with treatment. There are several motions that are important. We'll illustrate each with a figure drawn by my colleague Steve Lippitt who practices in Akron, Ohio.

I. Internal and external rotation with the arm at the side (measured in terms of degrees from vertical)

II. Forward elevation (measured in terms of degrees from the horizontal)

III. Internal rotation up the back (measured in terms of the part of the back that can be reached with the thumb).

IV. Cross-body reach (measured as the distance from the elbow to the opposite shoulder).

V. Internal rotation with the arm out to the side (measured as degrees from the vertical).

To see our new series of youtube videos on important shoulder surgeries and how they are done, click here.

Be sure to visit "Ream and Run - the state of the art"  regarding this radically conservative approach to shoulder arthritis at this link and this link. Also see the essentials of the ream and run.

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You may be interested in some of our most visited web pages   arthritis, total shoulder, ream and runreverse total shoulderCTA arthroplasty, and rotator cuff surgery