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Shoulder Overview

Anatomy of the Shoulder

Shoulder Arthroscopy

Shoulder arthroscopy allows surgeons to repair joint tissues through tiny incisions using a tiny camera. Unlike open surgery, arthroscopic procedures require only small cuts rather than large gashes. People who undergo arthroscopy therefore experience less pain, faster healing, fewer scars, and can usually go home the same day. The arthroscope enables doctors to navigate inside the shoulder with great precision, analyzing damage and performing intricate repairs that would otherwise require much more invasive conventional surgery. Thanks to these advanced capabilities, patients are typically back on their feet in no time after a shoulder arthroscopy versus being hospitalized after open joint surgery.

The rotator cuff refers to several tendons surrounding the shoulder joint that keep the arm anchored in its socket while allowing flexible mobility. These tendons reinforce the shoulder so that its able to lift, twist, reach and rotate the arm in many directions. However, repetitive overuse or trauma can cause tears in rotator cuff tissue. When one or more tendons become torn, it is clinically termed a rotator cuff tear injury, which leads to pain, swelling, inflammation and limited shoulder function. Patients with a rotator cuff tear often have trouble bearing the weight of common arm movements that were once easy, like reaching up to a shelf. By providing structural support to the ball-and-socket shoulder anatomy, healthy rotator cuff tendons are crucial in preventing unwanted shoulder dislocations.

Those who suffer from chronic shoulder instability face repeated dislodging of the upper arm bone from the shoulder socket. This occurs when the ball-shaped head of the humerus temporarily or fully slips out from its clasping shoulder socket, the glenoid cavity. If the humerus head partially separates from the glenoid, it is called a subluxation. Total detachment signifies a complete dislocation. Both full and partial shoulder dislocations stem from instability problems within the joint, resulting in the loss of proper alignment between these two bones that meet to form the shoulder hinge. Not only are repetitive dislocations extremely painful and disruptive, but they risk accelerating wear and tear of cartilage cushioning the shoulder bones over time. Ongoing shoulder instability therefore warrants dedicated rehabilitation to prevent frequent dislocations and associated long term joint damage.

Severe shoulder deterioration can require full joint replacement surgery. There are a number of conditions that may progress enough to warrant removing the original joint and implanting artificial components in its place. These include advanced osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis after injury, a collapsed joint from rotator cuff tears (arthropathy), dead bone tissue (avascular necrosis), and failed prior joint replacement attempts. During this procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged humerus head and glenoid socket before replacing these with manufactured synthetic implants shaped like the original joint parts. The goal is to provide stability and restore range of motion by reconstructing the ball-and-socket anatomy. For those suffering from irreparable, painful shoulder damage, full joint replacement can relieve pain and regain function.

Shoulder impingement, sometimes nicknamed swimmer’s shoulder or tennis shoulder, refers to inflamed rotator cuff tendons resulting in pain and reduced range of motion. It involves irritation and swelling of the tendons around the shoulder joint. Sports like swimming, tennis, baseball, and weightlifting requiring repetitive arm motions overhead can progressively cause rubbine and inflammation on these tendons. The condition may also stem from a traumatic injury, like a car accident whiplash, or from natural age-related wear and tear. Regardless of origin, inflamed tendons get squeezed or “impinged” against bone when the arm is lifted leading to weakness, stiffness and ache around the shoulder. Anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, or surgery may be necessary to treat more severe rotator cuff tendonitis.

Frozen shoulder, clinically termed adhesive capsulitis, refers to restricted shoulder mobility and severe pain due to swelling and inflammation. This condition causes the connective tissue capsule surrounding the shoulder joint to thicken and tighten up. As the capsule stiffens it limits outward shoulder rotation. Over time, the escalating immobility and soreness can take away basic shoulder function needed for everyday arm movements. Simple actions like lifting objects, getting dressed or reaching behind the back eventually elicit agony in an advanced stage of frozen shoulder. Gentle stretching helps, but those with chronic stiffness and unmanageable discomfort often undergo physical therapy, steroid injections or surgery to relax the tightened tissue and restore flexibility to the frozen joint.

Shoulder Pre-Operative Videos

Pre-Operative Shoulder Arthroscopy

Pre-Operative Total Shoulder

Tori Homb, APN

Surgical Assistant + Master’s in Family Nurse Practitioning

Tori Homb, originally from  the surrounding Rockford area, graduated from Walden University in 2019 with a Master’s in Family Nurse Practitioning. Tori  has been working alongside Dr. Trenhaile since 2008 in the operating room as a surgical assistant. She has continued her education and transitioned into the advanced practice role as a nurse practitioner and now assists him with formulating diagnoses, treatment plans, as well as providing surgical assistance. Tori helps to manage preoperative and postoperative patient care as well as sports medicine education.  In her spare time she enjoys playing recreational sports such as volleyball, softball, and working out, and running as well as spending time with her husband Shawn, friends, and family. 

Kari Stockton, RN, BSN

Registered Nurse + Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Kari was born and raised in Southern Wisconsin on a dairy farm. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from St. Anthony College of Nursing. Prior to joining Dr. Trenhaile’s team in 2004, Kari worked in the Neuro/Trauma ICU at St. Anthony Medical Center. Kari currently resides in Rockton, Illinois with her husband and enjoys hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Alyssa Fetterhoff
Alyssa Fetterhoff received a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from North Central College. Prior to joining Dr. Trenhaile’s team in 2017, Alyssa worked as a rehab technician at New Millennium Medical in Belvidere, IL. Alyssa aids the Physician Assistants in designing treatment plans, as well as implementing pre- and postoperative patient care.

Dr. Scott Trenhaile

Clinical Assistant Professor/ Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Scott Trenhaile, Orthopaedic Surgeon from Rockford, Illinois, is dedicated to the continuous advancement of healthcare and specialized in knee, shoulder and elbow.

Click to View Dr. Trenhaile’s About Page.

Michael Gilbertson, PAC

Physician Assistant

Michael Gilbertson, a native to Rockford, has been with Dr. Trenhaile’s team as a Physician Assistant since 2004 after graduating from Midwestern University. As part of the sports medicine department, Michael assists Dr. Trenhaile in formulating diagnoses and treatment plans as well as providing surgical assistance. Michael manages all preoperative and postoperative patient education. In his spare time he lives enjoys wakeboarding, hockey and spending time with his wife Kim and children Myles and Kylie.

Ana Holleman

Ana Holleman, has been with Orthoillinois since 2005 working various roles. In 2017 she joined Dr. Trenhaile’s team to be his surgery scheduler. Ana’s key roles in surgery scheduling include setting up medical clearances for patients, notifying the facilities of the procedure and equipment, pre-certifying the surgery with insurance and comforting patients.