Fellowship Trained Optim Orthopedic Surgeons

The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in the entire human body. One of the most complex joints, the shoulder joint, is also one of the largest.

It is made up of three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collar bone), and humerus (arm bone.) Three smaller joints move together to make up the large shoulder joint and to provide a large range of motion, those include: the acromioclavicular joint, the sternoclavicular joint, and the glenohumeral joint. The glenohumeral joint has also been called the ball and socket joint of the shoulder.

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Optim Orthopedics Total Shoulder
Shoulder Pain can be caused by an Acute Or Chronic Injury. The Shoulder Specialists at Optim Orthopedics provide Diagnosis and both Surgical and Nonsurgical treatment options.

Total Shoulder addresses everyday disorders that affect the bones, joints, cartilage, muscles, ligaments and tendons. We handle the evaluation and management of degenerative diseases such as arthritis, care for fractures and complex joint replacement surgery. Our services are individualized to each patient’s needs.

Painful symptoms can be caused by a traumatic injury from an accident, sudden impact while playing sports, a fall, or strain to tendons and joints from repetitive work or sports activities. In older patients, as arthritis becomes more commonplace, pain may be prevalent simply with daily routine and activity.

Conservative care is always our first choice of treatment. We’re committed to working closely with you and your primary care physician to create the best treatment plan possible to fit your individual needs. Once we’ve diagnosed your condition, treatment plans may include: physical therapy, occupational therapy, injections and/or medications.

For those patients who require surgery, advancements in minimally invasive techniques are our practice’s specialty. Minimally invasive surgery means only tiny incisions are needed, along with the use of arthroscopes. This significantly reduces pain after surgery, shortens recovery time, and decreases scarring.

For joint replacements requiring open incisions, we use the newest techniques and technology to shorten recovery time, and get you back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

01. Services Scaled To Your Needs

Our multidisciplinary teams offer a variety of non-invasive therapies as well as state-of-the-art surgical treatments for acute and chronic sports injuries.

02. Speedier Recoveries

Our efficient, coordinated approach means that we can expedite referrals and test results, offer same-day appointments and help facilitate your rapid recovery.

03. Athletes Training Athletes

As athletes ourselves, we can better identify and guide your unique path back to your favorite activities whether you are an elite or recreational competitor.

Optim Orthopedics Total Shoulder

Our People Make The Difference

Behind every treatment or procedure is a specially trained, highly experienced professional who’s dedicated to giving you the best care possible so that you can get back to life—quickly, safely, and confidently. They’re experts at what they do, and we’re proud to have them as part of our team.

Don Aaron, MD

Sports Medicine (Knee, Hip and Shoulder)

Delan Gaines, MD

Sports Medicine (Knee, Hip and Shoulder)

Thomas Alexander

Thomas Alexander, MD

Sports Medicine (Knee, Hip, Shoulder and Elbow)

David Palmer, MD

Sports Medicine (Knee, Hip and Shoulder)

Amir Shahien

Amir Shahien, MD

Sports Medicine (Knee, Hip and Shoulder)

George Sutherland Jr, MD

Sports Medicine (Knee, Hip and Shoulder)

James Wilson Jr, MD

Sports Medicine (Knee, Hip and Shoulder)

What is Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder is a complex joint comprised of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). A group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff attaches the humerus to your shoulder socket while small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae cushion the joint.

Together, these structures allow you to perform a wide range of motions, from reaching for the top shelf to swinging a golf club. Injury or damage to any of the tissues can lead to pain and difficulty moving your shoulder. Common causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Arthritis of the shoulder
  • Bursitis or inflammation of the bursa
  • Biceps tendinitis
  • Biceps tendon tears
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder instability

Fractures of the collarbone, humerus, or shoulder blade are also common sources of shoulder pain.

Treatment For Shoulder Pain

Once they diagnose your condition, the team at Optim Orthopedics Associates, develops a personalized treatment plan to relieve your shoulder pain. They always begin with the most conservative treatments possible.

Depending on your specific condition, treatment for shoulder pain may include:

  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest and activity modification

If your condition is severe or doesn’t resolve with treatment, the team at Optim Orthopedics, may recommend shoulder surgery followed by a shoulder rehabilitation program.

They specialize in the most advanced procedures, such as total shoulder replacement and minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.

Get expert Orthopedic Medical Care for Shoulder Issues ranging from Arthritis to Dislocations and Fractures.

We offer a complete range of orthopedic care options, including shoulder surgery, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, shoulder and knee arthroscopy, shoulder fractures and dislocation, total and reverse shoulder joint replacement, and treatments for sports injuries.

Rotator Cuff Surgery

The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that work together to keep the ball-like head of the shoulder joint within the socket, or cup portion of the joint, enabling the joint to function correctly and facilitating an extensive range of motion and strength.

Labral Repair

Your labrum is a ring of soft tissue that surrounds your shoulder joint. Your shoulder comprises several bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that allow an extensive range of motion. The head of your humerus fits into the glenoid, the shoulder sock. Your labrum and rotator cuff hold the shoulder joint together and provide support, strength, and stability.

Shoulder Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a type of minimally-invasive procedure that can be used to examine and treat the inside of a joint that’s been damaged due to disease or trauma. During arthroscopy, your doctor makes small incisions about the size of a buttonhole in your skin and inserts the arthroscope – a long, thin scope with a light and camera on its tip – into your shoulder joint. The arthroscope sends images from inside the joint to a monitor so your surgeon can assess the joint.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that work together to keep the ball-like head of the shoulder joint within the socket, or cup portion of the joint, enabling the joint to function properly and facilitating a normal range of motion and strength.

Dislocated Shoulder

The shoulder joint is capable of a wide range of motion, depending on a complex group of bones, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues for proper function.

A dislocation occurs when the top of the upper arm bone (humeral head) wholly or partially slips out of the cup-shaped shoulder socket (glenoid). A dislocation can cause considerable pain in the shoulder, as well as recurrent instability of the joint. A partial dislocation is called shoulder subluxation.

Shoulder Fracture Care

Shoulder fractures can occur because of direct trauma, such as a high impact from an automobile collision or a fall, especially on an outstretched arm, or from severe twists or torsion of the joint. Fractures can also occur as a result of trauma to the chest or rib cage.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Understanding your shoulder joint is helpful when learning about reverse shoulder replacements. Your shoulder joint includes the ball (humeral head) at the top of your humerus (arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). The ball fits into the glenoid (socket) in your scapula and is held in place with your rotator cuff (a network of muscles and tendons), the glenohumeral ligaments, and the large muscles of the shoulder such as the deltoid, bicep, trapezius, and pectoralis major muscles.

During a reverse total shoulder replacement, your surgeon replaces the ball (humeral head) of your upper arm bone with an implant that includes a stem with a curved plastic tray. They replace the socket (glenoid) with a rounded metal head. It’s called a reverse shoulder replacement because the implants reverse the placement of the ball and socket of the shoulder joint. The reversal of the ball and socket allows the stronger deltoid muscles to take over for strength and function.

What are the Important Structures in the Shoulder Joint?

The anatomy of the shoulder joint includes structures that help the joint to move. Shoulder stability is a key element of a properly functioning shoulder joint and is achieved with the help of cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles, all working together to connect, cushion and rotate the shoulder joint.

The shoulder is a complex joint which makes work and play possible. However, this wide range of motion can come at a cost and shoulder injuries can be common. Any shoulder injury or problem should be evaluated by the shoulder specialists at Optim Orthopedics.

For more information on shoulder anatomy and the treatments available, please contact Optim Orthopedics, serving Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Brunswick, Waycross, Vidalia, Statesboro, Reidsville, Claxton, Bluffton, Hilton Head Island and the surrounding communitites in the Low Country.


The labrum keeps the ball of the humeral head (arm bone) in place and helps prevent dislocation. It is a piece of rubber-like cartilage that is attached to the rim of the shoulder socket.


A small, fluid-filled sac, located between the bone and surrounding soft tissue, lubricates and cushions the rotator cuff tendon.

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff holds the head of the humerus firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. The rotator cuff muscles and tendons contribute to shoulder stability and shoulder strength.

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