POSTERIOR SUPERIOR GLENOID IMPINGEMENT
There are a number of shoulder injuries that can be particularly debilitating, especially for people engaged in sports. Internal glenoid impingement is usually the commonest cause behind pain at the back of one’s shoulder. There have been a number of cases where this has been misdiagnosed for rotator cuff tendonitis and the injury is caused when the articular surface of the rotator cuff impinges against the glenoid labrum and the posterior superior glenoid.
This injury is mainly to be found in sportspeople who have to throw overhead as well as in the case of weight lifters. In the case of weight lifters the problem is caused due to some sort of a deficiency in technique. Also, those who have to perform heavy-duty overhead activities, such as steering tow motors, stocking shelves, mechanics, and etc. often have to face this shoulder problem. The injury occurs in the same action that goes behind one’s throwing a ball overhand.
The injury can be aggravated if one is forced to repeat those very activities that caused the injury in the first place. This places additional and almost chronic load on the already injured shoulder and there is a tendency for the shoulder to give way. The commonest symptoms of this problem is pain in the affected shoulder during the phase of preparing to throw the ball. The pain sets in slowly and gradually and there is usually no record of any visible or tangible trauma. One way of diagnosing the problem is by studying and observing the way the athlete pitches the ball.
In the first stage of posterior superior glenoid impingement there is a certain stiffness that is felt by the patient around the affected shoulder. The time taken to warm up also increases. The best way to treat this is to have the patient practice throwing the ball for about a couple of weeks, along with taking care to strengthen his or her calf muscles. In the second stage there is some amount of pain in the back of the shoulder that indicates an instability and weakness in the affected shoulder. The way to treat this is to put the patient through a rehabilitation program for just over a month. When the appropriate rehabilitation program fails only then does the doctor consider the option of reconstructing the anterior capsulo-labral.
Here there is an urgent need for diagnosing the problem early and correctly. If that is done then there are high possibilities that the affected shoulder will be treated properly, giving it the best chances of recovery.