Shoulder Care

The shoulder is your body's most mobile joint. This flexibility makes your shoulder prone to injury.

Count on us to help you move well and without pain.

Doctors Trusted by Professional Athletes

Trust us to provide you with the same expert care that we provide to professional and collegiate athletes.

Meet the Team Doctors for the San Diego Padres, San Diego Seals and UC San Diego Tritons

When to See a Doctor

If you have shoulder pain that lasts more than a week, you should see a doctor. An early diagnosis and the right treatment can prevent you from doing serious or permanent damage to your joint.

Do I Need a Referral for Orthopedic Care?

You can make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists directly without a referral. If you have an HMO, however, your insurance plan may require a referral from your primary care physician.

Shoulder Conditions Treated

UC San Diego Health treats all types of shoulder conditions.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

At UC San Diego Health, you receive a complete workup of your shoulder condition. This includes a careful review of your health history, current symptoms, a physical exam of your shoulder, and X-rays. Diagnostic injections or an MRI arthrogram (or both) may also be recommended if there are inconsistencies in your diagnosis, symptoms or response to treatment. Once you have a diagnosis, you and your doctor can discuss your treatment options and goals.

Shoulder Surgery

If you have not responded to conservative treatment, you may be a candidate for shoulder arthroscopy, shoulder resurfacing or shoulder replacement. 


Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive approach that allows your surgeon to see and work inside your shoulder with smaller incisions. Your recovery is often faster and less painful. Arthroscopy can be used to restore normal joint stability and strength for many injuries, including rotator cuff tears, shoulder instabilities, ligament tears and SLAP lesions.

Reconstruction & Replacement

Partial and Total Joint Replacement

If you have severe joint damage or degeneration, you may be a candidate for shoulder resurfacing or replacement. UC San Diego Health surgeons offer a range of surgical approaches to restore your shoulder joint and are sought out for their expertise in complex revision surgeries as well.

Sports Medicine in Primary Care

Many shoulder conditions can be diagnosed and treated by one of our primary care physicians (PCPs) with expertise in sports medicine.

Sports Medicine PCPs

More about Shoulder Conditions and Care

For more general information about shoulder conditions and treatments, visit our Health Library: