Shoulder Bursitis: A common cause of shoulder pain

Shoulder Bursitis.Luis M. Espinoza, M.D. is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon practicing at the Orthopedic Center for Spor


  Shoulder bursitis is a painful condition where the bursa (normal lining) of the shoulder becomes inflamed. The symptoms of bursitis include aching in shoulder are that may radiate towards the neck and down to the elbow. Lying on the shoulder at night may be especially difficult. Movement upward may result in pain as the arm is straight out from the body and trying to reach into a hip pocket may be very painful.

  Once of the most common causes of bursitis is a condition called shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff tendon and the bursa are pinched between the humerus (arm bone) and acromion (part of the wing bone). Some degree of impingement occurs during normal activity, but constant overhead use of the arm may result in irritation of the bursa and tendons. This irritation leads to painful inflammation of the shoulder, which can be disabling. Excessive wear from shoulder impingement can also result in rotator cuff tears with resulting shoulder weakness, decreased motion, and pain.

  Any condition which reduces the amount of space between the acromion and the humeral head can increase the likelihood of developing bursitis. Bone spurs from the nearby acromioclavicular joint or variation in the anatomy of the acromion are fairly common. Both of these conditions can be identified with proper examinations.

  The diagnosis of impingement and bursitis is usually made on the basis of the patient’s history and physical examination. X-rays may confirm the presence of an abnormal acromion, or degeneration and spur formation of the acromioclavicular joint. In addition, an MRI can may be performed if an associated rotator cuff tear is suspected. In some cases, injection of a local anesthetic into the bursa can be used to make sure that the pain is in fact coming from the shoulder, and not radiating from the neck.

  Initial treatment for bursitis from impingement usually includes rest, a mild anti-inflammatory medication, and a prescribed course of gentle physical therapy. If these measures fail to improve the pain, and injection of cortisone into the bursa may be beneficial. Cortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory medication that specifically targets the affected joint and can help bring the discomfort under control.

  If all conservative measures fail, surgery may be required to reduce the symptoms. Surgery for impingement usually begins by removing a portion of the acromion. Any spurs that appear to be rubbing on the bursa and tendons are removed and a ligament called the coracoacromial ligament is cut as well. This gives the tendons room to move without rubbing, therapy decreasing the pain and inflammation in the bursa and tendons.

  In most cases, this entire procedure can be done arthroscopically allowing you to go home the same day. A safe post-operative rehabilitation program can then be initiated to help restore painless shoulder function. 

For additional information call 504.889.2663 or visit us on our website at

Luis M. Espinoza MD Dr. Espinoza served as the AAA Team Doctor for the the New Orleans Zephyrs/BabyCakes since joining the Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine in 2003. He is double board certified in General Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.

You Might Also Enjoy...

OCSM Lifestyle Medicine: 4921 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70001. NOLASPORTSMEDICINE.COM

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Thanksgiving can be a time when we all choose to share in the giving and receiving of food that we may not be accustomed to eating every day. Here are a few hints to ensure this time of year is indeed filled with intentions of GRATITUDE as well as LOVE!
OCSM Physical Therapy - Annual Wellness visits. 4921 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70001

Benefits of Annual Physical Therapy Assessments

Physical therapists specialize in biomechanical assessments of the body. PTs are training to help people maintain every level of activity, Identifying problems BEFORE injury can make huge differences in long term outcomes.
Chadwick Murphy MD - Neck and Back Pain  Interventional Spine Specialist. OCSM Health Clinic at 4921 Airline Drive, Metairie,

Neck and Low Back Spine Specialist

Chadwick Murphy, MD, is a double board-certified interventional spine specialist at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana. Specializing in pain medicine, physical medicine, and rehabilitation, Dr. Murphy understands the importance of
Metairie Pulmonary and Lifestyle Medicine Clinic

Ode to a Physician: A Tree, a Car and an Empty Glass Jar

After reading the recent article in the New York Times titled "The Moral Crisis of America's Doctors", I felt the need to encourage those beginning this journey. There is MUCH HOPE in this calling. The HEALING has to begin with self reflection.
OCSM Lifestyle Medicine- Andrea Espinoza, MD, FCCP, and the expert team at Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine in Metairie,

OCSM: Lifestyle Medicine

Practicing nutritional mindfulness is one of the most successful ways to promote health and wellness. Whether you need to prepare your body for surgery or simply want to lower your risk of numerous health concerns, Andrea Espinoza, MD, FCCP can help.