Upper Extremity Problems (Neck, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hand, Fingers)

Why is my neck sore and stiff?

Minor twisting and hyperextension injuries to the neck following a fall or car accident will cause persistent neck pain as well as possible headaches and radiating pain into our shoulders, shoulder blades or down our arm. Most of these problems can be resolved with conservative treatment consisting of medication, therapy and office cortisone injections.


Why does my shoulder hurt?

One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is due to impingement syndrome/bursitis which can occur without any specific injury. The pain is always worse when trying to use your arm at or above shoulder height or when you try to sleep on the involved shoulder. Most often the treatment is nonsurgical.

With any type of shoulder problem the pain frequently restricts the range of motion. Unfortunately, if we don’t place our shoulders through a full range of motion frequently they will stiffen up and some people develop what’s called “a frozen shoulder”.

A more serious type of shoulder problem involves damage to the rotator cuff which could be worn, partially or completely torn. This frequently involves some type of injury to the shoulder due to a fall or heavy lifting. Some cases can be treated conservatively but many require surgical intervention arthroscopically to repair the damage. Most often an MRI scan will be required. Injuries associated as a result of extreme movement can cause damage to the labrum.

With repetitive heavy lifting and use of our arms at or above shoulder height we can develop wear and tear on our shoulder joint as well as the joint between the collar bone and scapula better known as the AC joint. This gradually turns into arthritis.

Additional Links: 

Impingement Syndrome / Bursitis
Rotator Cuff Repair
Rotator Cuff Tear
Adhesive Capsulitis
AC Joint Arthrosis
AC Joint Separation
Labral Tear
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome


Why does my elbow hurt?

One of the most common problems orthopedic surgeons see on a daily basis is pain over the outside of the elbow due to lateral epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”. Pain on the inside of the elbow can be due to medial epicondylitis or “golfers elbow”. Less common problems in the elbow are due to pinching of the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel or the radial nerve in the radial tunnel.

Additional Links: 

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Radial Tunnel Syndrome
Lateral Epicondylitis
Medial Epicondylitis


Why does my wrist hurt?

If you’re a person whose job or hobby requires repetitive gripping, grasping and data entry with symptoms of pain and numbness you maybe suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome due to pinching of the median nerve. More rarely the ulnar nerve can be pinched due to Guyon’s canal syndrome. Inflammation of tendons around the wrist are due to tenosynovitis which can be treated conservatively.

Additional Links:

Intersection Syndrome
DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Guyon's Canal Syndrome


Why do my fingers hurt?

A very common problem people experience from repetitive gripping and grasping relates to inflammation of the flexor tendons of our fingers. Sometimes the inflammation causes the fingers do lock and be very painful. Less commonly people experience tightness of the palm due to Dupuytren’s contracture. Injuries to the fingers usually are in the form of either sprains or fractures usually treated in the office.

Additional Links:

Dupuytren's Disease

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Elliot Gross, MD
3831 Hughes Avenue, Suite 509
Culver City, CA 90232
Phone: 310-819-4971
Fax: 310-558-0624
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