Shoulder and Elbow Services

Dr. Orfaly with patient

At OHSU, our experienced team of doctors, surgeons, and physical therapists can help improve shoulder and elbow movement and function, reduce pain, and give you more independence to do what you want to do. Our specialists use the latest advancements in diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation to treat shoulder and elbow injuries and conditions.

Shoulder and elbow treatments

OHSU's team of doctors and surgeons are specialty trained to treat shoulder and elbow injuries and conditions, such as shoulder bone spurs, torn rotator cuffs, fractures, damaged cartilage, arthritis and more. They will work with you to determine the best treatment for your elbow or shoulder so you can get back to your active lifestyle. Our surgical and non-surgical treatments include:

Surgical treatments

Shoulder replacement (shoulder arthroplasty)

Shoulder replacement surgery, also called shoulder arthroplasty, works well for many people to relieve shoulder pain.

In this procedure, your doctor will replace the worn-out shoulder joint with artificial implants. This will relieve pain and help your shoulder work better.  Arthroplasty is usually done only after you have tried nonsurgical treatment such as such as physical therapy or taking anti-inflammatory medicines.

Learn more about shoulder replacement surgery

Shoulder arthroscopy

In arthroscopy, your doctor looks inside the joint with a tiny camera to diagnose and treat joint problems. With shoulder arthroscopy, the doctor can see inside the shoulder without making a large incision. The latest cameras provide higher resolution, so this procedure is even more effective. If needed, our shoulder specialists can perform complex surgery through the scope.

Your doctor may recommend arthroscopy for shoulder problems including:

Learn more about shoulder arthroscopy

Reverse total shoulder replacement

This procedure is often called a reverse shoulder replacement. It uses a ball-and-socket joint, but the ball is placed on the shoulder blade and the socket is placed on top of the arm bone. This is the reverse of our normal anatomy.

The reverse shoulder replacement is designed for patients who do not have a functioning rotator cuff, and so  do not have normal shoulder anatomy. The reverse shoulder replacement is a good option for taking care of this complicated problem.

Learn more about reverse shoulder replacement

reverse total shoulder replacement

Rotator cuff repair

Your rotator cuff is a collection of tendons around the shoulder that allows the arm to reach forward and up.  When these tendons are torn, it becomes painful or impossible to reach overhead.

Surgery on the tendons can often restore full arm movement and reduce pain. In most cases, your doctor can do arthroscopic surgery using a tiny camera to see inside the area without making a large incision.

Learn more about rotator cuff repair

Shoulder and elbow fracture repair

Fracture Repair of the Arm (ORIF)

Open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) is a way of repairing a fractured (broken) bone with surgery.  It usually involves using plates and screws or a rod to stabilize the bone.

Shoulder and elbow fractures can be very difficult to repair. Our surgeons have the technical skills needed to repair these fractures and have also developed many devices that can help in treating these conditions.

Clavicle repair

If you fall on your shoulder, a broken clavicle could be the result. Our doctors often see people who break their clavicles in  bicycling, skiing and snowboarding accidents.

Clavicle fractures do not always heal well on their own  because the shoulder cannot be placed in a cast. Many clavicle fractures can be treated without surgery, but you may need surgery if the bones are pushed very far out of place or you are very active.

Nonsurgical treatments

  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Injections
  • Occupational therapy
  • Manipulation
  • Electromyography
  • Nerve conduction studies