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Shoulder and Elbow Conditions

Shoulder injuries and conditions may be caused by joint pain, tendon tears, and muscle degeneration. Our surgeons are experts in the diagnosis, repair and treatment of shoulder pain, weakness, or tendon tears. They work closely with physical and occupational therapists to provide comprehensive treatment, and to help return you to activities you enjoy.

To make an appointment, call 216-778-HAND (4263) or request an appointment online.

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Learn more about common shoulder injuries and conditions treated at MetroHealth.

Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve in the elbow. Repeatedly placing pressure on the elbow by leaning or bending can cause pressure on the nerve.


  • Elbow pain and numbness
  • Tingling in fingers

Treatment Options

  • Splinting at night
  • Avoid placing pressure on elbow or forearms
  • Surgery to release compression in the nerve for more advanced cases

Frozen shoulder occurs when the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful, gradually reducing ability to move. It typically develops over three stages:

  • Freezing stage: worsening pain and limited movement in the shoulder, especially at night, for a period of 6 weeks to 9 months
  • Frozen stage: pain alleviates, worsening stiffness and movement for up to a year
  • Thawing stage: movement gradually returns, ranging from 6 weeks to 2 years

Treatment Options

  • Steroid injections
  • Physical shoulder exercises

Arthritis is a condition that damages joints and causes pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Osteoarthritis is known as "wear-and-tear" arthritis: it breaks down cartilage between the bone in elbow or shoulder joints, causing the ends of the bone to rub together painfully.


  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Stiffness
  • Grinding feeling of the joint


Treatment Options

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Injections to cushion the bone
  • Joint surgery

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It's a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes inflammation in elbow or shoulder joints.


  • Pain
  • Lumps/bumps on joints
  • Swelling
  • Loss of function


Treatment Options

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Arthroscopy to remove damaged tissue
  • Arthroplasty to replace joints

A rotator cuff tear is a tear in the tendons that connect the arm to the shoulder. Lifting heavy items, an athletic injury, trauma, and muscle degeneration can contribute to a rotator cuff tear.


  • Pain or weakness when lifting the arm
  • Difficulty raising arm
  • Inability to lift things



Treatment Options

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone

Dislocation of the shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone slips out of its socket, which is the cup-shaped section of the shoulder blade. Sports injuries, falls or trauma can cause the shoulder to partially or completely dislocate.


  • Shoulder is visibly out of place
  • Severe pain
  • Shoulder immobility

Treatment Options

  • Placement of shoulder back into its socket
  • Sling
  • Ice and rest
  • Physical therapy
Broken Arm
Adult and Pediatric Surgery Options

Learn about options for surgery in the MetroHealth Hand and Upper Extremity Center.

Hand Surgery Guide