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Shoulder Injury

Innovative orthopedic treatments for shoulder pain and injury

The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. Most of the time you don’t realize how hard your shoulders work throughout the day. But when your shoulders hurt, you feel it in just about everything you do.

Whether you’re lifting weights, throwing a ball or digging in the garden, any kind of repetitive motion can lead to pain or injury. Injuries and other shoulder conditions can also cause the shoulder to lose some of its natural function, negatively impacting how the shoulder’s bones, muscles and ligaments work together.

As one of the leading orthopedic clinics in the Midwest, TRIA offers you the latest, most advanced diagnostic and treatment options, including state-of-the-art imaging technology, integrative medicine, and specialized physical therapy programs. We also have the only urgent care in Minnesota staffed by board-certified primary care sports medicine physicians. No matter how long you’ve been dealing with shoulder issues, we’ll get you back to better.

"I couldn't be happier with the outcome of my shoulder surgery. All the issues I'd carried with me for so long no longer exist. Thank you!!!"

Shoulder conditions we treat

  • Frozen shoulder
  • Humerus fracture
  • Shoulder arthritis
  • Shoulder labral tear
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Shoulder separation
  • SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior) tear
  • Stingers / burners
  • Traumatic shoulder instability

How to get started

To diagnose what’s causing your shoulder pain, we’ll begin with a physical exam of your shoulder to check for any inflammation, bruising or torn tissue. We may also ask you to move your shoulder in specific ways so we can check your range of motion. After the physical exam, more tests may be needed to determine the cause of your shoulder issue, including an X-ray or Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

You’ll be able to choose a shoulder doctor that is right for you and can help guide you through your entire treatment process.

Shoulder treatment options

No matter the complexity of your shoulder condition, our orthopedic team will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. Depending on your unique needs and comfort level, we may recommend one or more of the following options:

Nonsurgical treatment options

In many cases, we can heal your shoulder and get you back to the activities you love without surgery. We provide comprehensive nonsurgical treatment options including:


Inflammation can cause swelling, stiffness and pain in your shoulder.. Anti-inflammatory medications, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, can be used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. In some cases, we may recommend injecting steroids in or near the painful area, providing more long-term relief from pain.

Physical therapy

During your physical therapy session, we’ll guide you through targeted exercises that strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility, helping you to prevent future injuries. In most cases, we’ll also give you exercises you can do at home so you can keep improving between appointments.

Surgical treatment options

When surgery is needed, you’re in the hands of the best orthopedic surgeons in the Midwest. We’ll carefully review all of your treatment options together and only guide you toward surgery if it’s the most effective treatment for you. Common shoulder surgeries include:

Shoulder arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure where we use an arthroscope, a small tube with a camera on the end, to guide us as we remove the injured tissue. The arthroscope allows us to make the smallest incision possible, reducing your recovery time.

Shoulder replacement surgery

If your shoulder pain doesn’t respond to other treatment options, shoulder replacement surgery may be the most effective course of action. During shoulder replacement surgery, we replace the damaged parts of the shoulder with an artificial joint (prostheses). When recovering at home isn’t the best choice for you, you have the option of staying at a hotel as part of our Hotel Recovery Program. This can be a more affordable and comfortable recovery experience for our patients.

We know how important it is to continue your care through guided programs that focus on your shoulders. Whether you’re working toward getting back into your sport or simply moving with less pain and having more strength in your upper body, we have options available to help with your shoulder recovery.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Apply ice or heat – If your shoulders feel stiff or sore, ice or heat can relieve some of the pain. Try using a heating pad or a warm towel and apply it to the area that’s bothering you. If you prefer a cold treatment, wrapping ice in a towel or a plastic bag will work to deliver cooling to your shoulder. Try to limit your cold or hot treatments to 10 minutes. You can repeat as needed.

Take anti-inflammatory medicines – When you need a little more relief and ice and rest is not helping enough, sometimes medication can help. Anti-inflammatory medications can alleviate pain caused by injuries or inflammation.

Massage – Having someone gently knead your sore shoulder can relieve pain and tension. If you are on your own, try using a sock and tennis ball. Place the ball inside the sock and lean against a wall with the sock between you and the wall, then roll the ball around to massage your affected area.

While some shoulder conditions can be treated at home or improve over time, you should consider making an appointment if you:

  • Have pain for a few weeks without improvement
  • Notice an uncomfortable or abnormal placement of the shoulder or upper arm
  • Feel pain raising your arm or reaching for something
  • Have trouble sleeping because of pain and discomfort

The only way to know if you need surgery to treat your shoulder condition is to talk to a doctor. During your appointment, one of our orthopedists will guide you to the most effective treatment option based on your symptoms. In many cases, we can treat shoulder issues with nonsurgical treatments. And we don’t guide you toward surgery unless it’s the most effective treatment option.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, PreferredOne and many others.

You can check with your insurance to see if your plan covers part or all of the services needed. Call the number on the back of your card for help looking at your options.

Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started: