Signs and Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is composed of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint. The surrounding muscles allow a person to lift and rotate the arms, and keep the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket.

If you notice that your child is hurting whenever he reaches behind his back or winces when reaching for the seat belt, this could be due to a rotator cuff injury. Shoulder pain when attempting to reach or lift, or even when at rest is the first sign of a rotator cuff injury. A snapping or a cracking sound can also accompany the shoulder pain.

This type of injury frequently happens to children who are involved in sports and perform overhead motions repeatedly. Young athletes such as baseball pitchers, archers, and tennis players are especially susceptible.

What to Do If Your Child is Injured

An early diagnosis and treatment of a rotator cuff injury can make a huge difference. It is important to see a family doctor once your child experiences a loss of motion after getting the shoulder injured. The pain can be treated with medication, as well as a combination of stretching and exercises to make the shoulder stronger and more flexible over time.

If the shoulder pain still remains for a long time, your child will need to be seen immediately by a San Diego orthopedic doctor, and surgery can be done if the injury is severe. A traditional open surgery is used for large rotator cuff tears, while an arthroscopic surgery is recommended for a smaller one. The latter is minimally invasive where a small camera called the arthroscope is inserted in the incision so that the surgeon can see the rotator cuff tear in greater detail and fix it. If the injury is left untreated, it can lead to a degeneration of the joint.

Shoulder Instability: Why It Happens

Did you know that the shoulder is the most moveable joint of the entire body? Because of its wide range of motion, the shoulder is more susceptible to injury. Shoulder instability happens when the shoulder joint becomes too loose, causing the top of the upper arm bone to move out of its socket. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments become less secure in the shoulder joint, causing the humeral bone to dislocate either from overuse or direct trauma.

Shoulder instability happens frequently among athletes, so if your child actively participates in competitive sports, you should watch out for this type of injury. Athletes who play sports that require strong overhead motions like baseball and volleyball are especially vulnerable. The repetitive shoulder movement causes the muscles and connective tissues to weaken over time. Direct trauma can also cause shoulder instability simply by doing everyday activities such as falling down the stairs or falling off a bicycle.

Symptoms of Shoulder Instability

Your child may complain about a sensation of “looseness” and pain in the shoulder. There is also a feeling of numbness and weakness during activities that require raising the arm and moving the shoulders. Other conditions such as inflammation and bursitis can also develop. If left untreated, a shoulder instability can also lead to dislocation, rotator cuff injuries, and other conditions.

Shoulder pain doesn’t have to be a part of your child’s life. To get an accurate diagnosis, schedule an appointment with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor. The doctor will perform a physical examination and an X-ray, as well as analyze your child’s medical history. If the shoulder instability cannot be fixed with conservative treatments, an arthroscopic surgery can be done to relieve the discomfort, as well as restore the function and mobility of your child’s shoulders.

How to Deal with Your Child’s Arthritis

Arthritis is something you think you will get once you grow old, and not something you think your child will get. What a lot of people don’t know is that kids get arthritis, too.

Juvenile arthritis is an inflammation of the synovium for children aged 16 years and below. Specialists think that this disease is caused by genetics, infections, or environmental factors.

Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis is considered an autoimmune disorder, and its first signs are usually subtle. It can be something as simple as excessive clumsiness, or a joint pain in the morning that never goes away. Joints may become painful, stiff, and tender. They may even lose some of their mobility. There may even be limping involved, as well as fatigue and loss of appetite.

At this point, it is best to have the child evaluated by a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor to rule out conditions that have similar symptoms as juvenile arthritis. An early and accurate diagnosis is important in order to help your child manage the disease.

Treating arthritis at its early stage is important because your child is still growing. If untreated, the disease can affect your child’s growth plates and can interfere with your child’s growth and bone development.

Treatments for Juvenile Arthritis

After a diagnosis has been established, it is best to work closely with a San Diego orthopedic doctor to get the best possible outcome. Having a specialist and a team of health providers will ensure that your child will remain physically active and will maintain an overall good quality of life that was previously enjoyed even before the diagnosis.

Your doctor will recommend a combination of treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, and exercise. When arthritis symptoms flare up, corticosteroids such as prednisone may be injected directly to the child’s joints.

Medial Epicondylitis and Lateral Epicondylitis: What’s the Difference?

If you have a child who is active and plays a lot of sports, it pays to know the sports injuries that he or she is at risk of having. If the sports involves the use of the elbow, then your child should be familiar with the most common elbow injuries to prevent them from happening.

Medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis are two of the most common elbow injuries. Both injuries are a type of tendonitis with similar symptoms except for the part of the elbow that’s affected. Medial epicondylitis occurs inside the elbow, while lateral epicondylitis happens outside of the elbow.

Medial Epicondylitis

If your child fond of playing golf? Then you better watch out for medial epicondylitis. Medial epicondylitis, also called golfer’s elbow, is an inflammation of the inner side of the arm and elbow.

This happens when the forearm muscles are overused and the wrist is repeatedly twisted and flexed, something that happens all too frequently when swinging a golf club. This injury can also be caused by a direct trauma from a fall or a motor vehicle car accident.

Lateral Epicondylitis

If your child a tennis player? Doing a lot of forehand and backhand strokes can take a toll on the elbow and result to lateral epicondylitis. This condition is also known as tennis elbow because tennis professionals get this injury from swinging a tennis racket.

Treatments for Epicondylitis

Even if your child has never played golf or tennis, they can still get an elbow injury if they do an activity that requires repetitive motions of the arms and wrists.

Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and rest are used to treat epicondylitis, whether it is medial or lateral. Using a brace will also help reduce the strain on the tendons. Your San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor may recommend that your child undergo surgery if these conservative treatments don’t work.