Imagine being unable to reach, throw, lift, push, or pull. That is how essential shoulders are to our daily function. It is one of the most complex and vital joints in the human body, allowing us to perform a wide range of movements from leisure to daily life functions.

For this reason, shoulder pain and injury can make a light-and-day difference in how we perform mundane tasks, such as cooking or driving, to more rigorous activities, such as lifting heavy objects or playing sports. But since the shoulder is a complex joint comprising various muscles, bones, and tendons working together, it can be tricky to properly diagnose and treat shoulder injuries.

Luckily, thanks to recent innovative approaches to shoulder injury diagnosis and treatment, these shoulder problems are now more efficiently diagnosed and treated. From fractures, dislocations, to ligament tears, these new approaches help people recover to full strength and regain their uninhibited range of motion more efficiently.

But what are these innovative ways of diagnosing and treating shoulder injury and pain? Here are a few of them.

Ultrasound imaging 

High-end imaging has become one of the many factors inflating healthcare costs in America. Aside from the added cost, data shows that some high-end imaging tests are unnecessary, thus wasting patients’ time by subjecting them to needless and often expensive tests.

This problem gave rise to one of the most important innovations in diagnosing shoulder injuries in recent times: Ultrasound, a non-invasive technique using high-frequency sound waves, provides a more affordable and accessible means to generate images of the inside of a shoulder joint. 

This diagnosis approach is becoming increasingly popular since it is more affordable than traditional MRI and can be used real-time during an examination. Additionally, it allows patients with metal implants or claustrophobic tendencies access to an MRI alternative, so the insides of their shoulders can be properly and efficiently diagnosed.

Fortunately, making shoulder care accessible has come a long way. For instance, Sunnyvale Orthopaedics has a shoulder surgeon in Dallas who specializes in holistic shoulder diagnosis and treatment. From fracture and dislocation repair, rotator cuff surgery, to ligament surgeries, a capable shoulder care provider can relieve and restore it to optimal function effectively.


Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure using a fiber-optic video camera to efficiently diagnose and treat shoulder injuries. In arthroscopy, a surgeon creates a tiny, buttonhole-sized shoulder incision to insert a small camera attached to a narrow tube. Once set up, a close-up view of the inside of your joint is transmitted in real-time through a high-definition video monitor.

[Image by Romaset from DepositPhotos]

This up-close look allows the surgeon to see inside your joint and diagnose accurately, even letting them administer necessary repairs or corrections. Arthroscopy is less invasive than traditional open surgery, requiring a shorter time to recover from shoulder surgery.

Aside from faster recovery, scarring is another problem reduced through arthroscopy. Since the moving skin around joints often causes prolonged healing time, the tiny incisions from arthroscopy help keep the wound stay closed. This benefit results in faster recovery with minimized scarring, sometimes even barely noticeable.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Platelet-rich plasma or PRP therapy is a cutting-edge shoulder treatment approach that uses the patient’s blood to promote healing in the shoulder joint. PRP therapy leverages your body’s natural healing power to relieve shoulder pain and restore functionality. 

PRP therapy involves drawing a small amount of the patient’s blood, then separating the platelets and growth factors from the rest of the blood through a centrifuge. This process generates concentrated platelets, which are then injected into the shoulder joint, where they catalyze growth factors that accelerate healing and reduce inflammation.

Although the number of PRP therapy sessions varies according to the extent of shoulder pain, most PRP therapy patients only require one to three sessions spread over weeks to months until they are back to full function. 

Stem cell therapy

When it comes to shoulder treatment, stem cell therapy is another rising treatment option for shoulder care. Since stem cells can develop into different functions of bone cells, body muscle cells, heart muscle cells, brain cells, or blood cells, dynamic stem cell therapy is becoming the future in regenerative joint treatments.

[Image by edesignua from DepositPhotos]

Stem cells are taken from the patient’s own body, usually harvested from the bone marrow. Then, these specialized cells are injected into the shoulder joint. Once integrated, the stem cells help regenerate the shoulder’s damaged components, such as muscle, bone, and cartilage. In stem cell therapy, stem cells promote cure and relief for disease, trauma, or injury.

While some significant injuries from sports, work, or vehicular accidents can cause permanent damage to the shoulders, stem cell therapy not only helps provide pain relief. It can also promote progressive regrowth of the damaged tissue, helping patients eventually reverse their injuries.

Computer-assisted surgery 

Computer-assisted surgery is a new approach to shoulder surgery that involves using advanced 3D imaging to efficiently determine the optimal implant type, size, and position before the shoulder operation. These real-time images allow the surgeon to make more precise incisions and repairs. This technology is beneficial for complex surgeries, such as rotator cuff repairs.

Thanks to improved accuracy, computer-assisted surgery results in lifelong shoulder surgeries that do not require revisions or reversals. The precise navigation technology also saves time in diagnosing and treating patients with severe fractures, deformities, or complex anatomy.


No matter how much care we give our shoulders, wear and tear on this complicated joint is inevitable, given how much they are involved in our daily life. 

Modern shoulder care techniques, such as reactive shoulder training, can only go as far as preventive care. It is innovative advancements in treatment and rehabilitation that can make a significant difference in helping a person regain full shoulder function.

Even though prevention is better than cure, these improved approaches to shoulder injury diagnosis and treatment are a step towards more efficient ways to take care of our shoulders. These innovations can help patients go back to their daily function faster and easier.

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