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Shoulder & Elbow Service

At MUSC Health, our orthopaedic Shoulder and Elbow specialists manage all types of problems. Most of the conditions we treat can be managed non-operatively, but when surgery is needed, we perform both arthroscopic and open surgery, as well as joint replacement, if necessary.  

Our team at MUSC Health will work with you to see if physical therapy could relieve your symptoms before considering the possibility of arthroscopy.

Depending on the procedure, you will likely be able to resume work and moderate exercise with in a relatively short amount of time. In some cases, your recovery may take longer. Recovery is often aided by physical therapy. Physical therapy exercises will target explicit muscle groups to help your shoulder recover and strengthen in a manner that will help to support the repairs. You may start with only small amounts of movement and may remain in a sling for a few weeks after surgery. This, again, depends on the repairs done to your joint. The restriction of movement will allow certain repairs to heal appropriately. Your physical therapist will aid you in learning these specific exercises and teach you to do them at home as well as in therapy.

Total Shoulder Replacement

Joint Commission SealMUSC Health has received the Joint Commission gold seal certification for total shoulder replacement. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

If your shoulder is worn or damaged to the point of needing replacement, our team of orthopaedic specialists will replace the joint with smooth metal and plastic parts. Degenerative joint disease is the most common reason for shoulder or elbow replacements that require the use of a such a prosthesis. The goal of shoulder replacement is to decrease your pain and increase your ability to carry out the activities of daily living. Over 95 percent of patients achieve good to excellent results with relief of pain and significantly increase mobility and function. A shoulder replacement can last 20 years or more if there are no complications.

Current Research

  • Shoulder Arthroplasty Outcomes Registry
  • Surgical Outcomes Registry
  • Clavicle Characterization Study for Clavicle Fractures
  • Technique on AC Joint Repair
  • National Arthroplasty Utilization Analysis
  • Finite Element Modelling of Reverse Shoulder Replacements
  • Correlation of Radiographs and Clinical Outcomes Following Anatomic Shoulder Replacement
  • Correlation of Radiographs and Clinical Outcomes Following Reverse Shoulder Replacement
  • Risks of Shoulder Arthroscopy Prior to Shoulder Replacement
  • Scapular Notching in Reverse Shoulder Replacement
  • Clinical Outcomes Following Total Knee Replacement
  • Clinical Outcomes Following Total Hip Replacement
  • Comparison of Anatomic and Reverse Shoulder Replacement Outcomes
  • Hybrid Cage Glenoids in Anatomic Shoulder Replacement
  • Predictors of Postoperative Outcomes Following Reverse Shoulder Replacement
  • Patient Reported Outcomes Comparing Bilateral Anatomic to Bilateral Reverse Shoulder Replacements

MUSC Shoulder & Elbow Research Analyst

Meghana Rao is a Duke University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology and minors in Chemistry and Music. She joined the Shoulder & Elbow team as the research analyst in June 2017 while applying to medical schools. Throughout the day-to-day research, drafting manuscripts and grant proposals, enrolling study patients, and attending surgeries, she has been accepted to multiple medical schools and will begin her studies in August 2018.

The Shoulder and Elbow service is now hiring the next research analyst for 2018-2019. View the job announcement, description, and application requirements here. The deadline for applications is February 16, 2018.

Blog Posts

MUSC Health Shoulder and Elbow Team at Forefront of Orthopaedic Research

The MUSC Health shoulder and elbow team is constantly working to provide the best orthopaedic care for our community by staying up to date on the current research and leading the field with their own studies right here in Charleston,  SC. This week the team is traveling to San Diego, California for the Annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) to both learn and teach about the future of orthopaedic care. One area of research we are actively studying is shoulder replacement surgery as treatment for individuals with debilitating shoulder arthritis pain....Learn More

Joint Commission Reviews the Joint Replacement Program at MUSC Health

This month the Joint Commission reviewed the Joint Replacement Program at MUSC Health....Learn More

Humerus Fractures and Treatment

The humerus makes up the “ball” of the “ball and socket” shoulder joint. A humerus fracture can occur from a fall directly on the shoulder or arm. This injury is common in both the elderly population with low impact falls, as well as the younger population with high impact injuries from activities like mountain biking and riding a motorcycle. A proximal humerus fracture is the most common type of fracture and makes up the third most common fracture in geriatrics.Dr. Eichinger headshot...Learn More

Little League Shoulder

Baseball today is nothing like it was in 1953: Pitches are faster, harder, and more frequent, training sessions are more intense, and you can participate year-round and on multiple teams. So while Little League shoulder (LLS) was first described in 1953, a lot has changed in the world of overhead throwing sports, meaning a lot has changed with this injury. Heyworth et al. explored our current state of LLS and uncovered a significant increasing trend in the past 14 years.Shoulder citation...Learn More

First Annual Overhead Throwers’ Free Community Workshop

Youth sports including little league baseball and softball are on the rise and as the spring season approaches, your MUSC Shoulder and Elbow team wants to make sure 2017 is the healthiest season yet. Come join us at the MUSC Mt. Pleasant clinic for a free overhead throwers’ community education workshop on February 4, 2017!Young boy pitching baseball...Learn More