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NY (212) 861-1700
Bronx (718) 655-2400
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Anatomy of the Shoulder


The shoulder is formed by the intersection of the humerus and the scapula, better known as the arm bone and shoulder blade. These two bones form a joint where the concave end of the scapula, the glenoid, meets the head of the humerus, which cushions the joint with articular cartilage. This joint, the glenohumeral cavity, acts as a ball-and-socket joint similar to the hip joint.

The labrum, a fibrous piece of cartilage that provides support and stability to the shoulder joint, wraps around the glenohumeral joint and provides a better range of motion for the shoulder.

Trauma to this area can cause a shoulder joint "tear," or glenoid labrum tear. Symptoms include shoulder pain associated with overhead activities, decreased range of motion in the shoulder and loss of strength.

Treatment options for a glenoid labrum tear may include anti-inflammatory medication and rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. Arthroscopic surgery may be the next step if these options do not work.

healthy shoulder

At the Center for Reconstructive Joint Surgery, Dr. Harwin focuses on the treatment of arthritis by joint reconstruction and hip and knee replacement. To treat sports injuries, Dr. Harwin will refer the patient to his associate, a sports medicine and arthroscopy specialist to properly evaluate and treat the injury.

Ligaments hold shoulder bones together, while tendon attaches the bones to the muscle. The rotator cuff surrounding the shoulder is made up of a set of four different muscles that attach to each other with tendon.

Find out more about labrum tears »

Ligaments hold shoulder bones together, while tendon attaches the bones to the muscle. The rotator cuff surrounding the shoulder is made up of a set of four different muscles that attach to each other with tendon.

Rotator cuff injuries can limit range of motion and cause pain. Tendinitis and rotator cuff tears are two common shoulder injuries, especially among athletes and the elderly. Tendinitis can cause inflammation in the shoulder muscles, specifically the rotator cuff, while a rotator cuff tear is a more significant injury that may require surgery.

Find out more about rotator cuff injuries and solutions »