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Hand, Elbow, and Shoulder Services

If you have pain or stiffness in your joints, UPMC's orthopaedic experts can help. We know that joints are complex, and untreated or poorly treated joint problems often get worse over time.

It's important to get the correct diagnosis and treatment. That's why we offer advanced tests and a range of proven therapies — from medicine to physical therapy to surgery.

Hand, Elbow, and Shoulder Conditions We Treat

Our experts treat all hand, elbow, and shoulder problems, including common and complex cases like:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome — Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in the hand and fingers that happens when tendons swell and compress one of the main nerves in the wrist.
  • Dislocation/subluxation — When a bone is partially or fully out of place in the elbow or shoulder from a fall, contact sport, car accident, or other injury.
  • Elbow or shoulder bursitis — Painful swelling in the fluid-filled sac that lubricates the joint.
  • Elbow (ulnar) ligament tear — A tear in the elbow ligament, most often caused by a repetitive throwing motion.
  • Golfer's elbow — Pain and swelling in the tendons connecting the forearm and the elbow.
  • Fracture — A break in a bone, most commonly from a fall.
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) — Pain and stiffness in the shoulder that comes on gradually and limits the movement of the shoulder.
  • Labral tear — A tear in the ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket.
  • Osteoarthritis — Inflammation in the joints that happens from wear and tear and increases with age.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis — A disease where the immune system attacks the soft tissues in the joints.
  • Rotator cuff tear — A tear in one or more of the tendons in the rotator cuff in the shoulder.
  • Shoulder impingement — Pain due to swollen tissues in the shoulder rubbing against the bone.
  • Shoulder instability — When the top of the arm bone repeatedly slips out of the shoulder socket.
  • Sprains and strains — An injury to the ligaments or muscles in the joint.
  • Tendinitis — Swelling of one or more of the ropy fibers that connect muscles to bones in a joint.
  • Tennis elbow — Pain in the outer part of the elbow. This occurs when overuse damages the tendon.

Whatever the hand, elbow, or shoulder issue, we'll choose the best treatment for your unique problem and lifestyle needs.

What Hand, Elbow, and Shoulder Services Do You Offer?

At UPMC, we provide complete care for hand, elbow, and shoulder problems. You can get all the tests and treatments you need in one place.

Advanced diagnostic tests for hand, elbow, and shoulder problems

We offer the following tests:

  • Arthrogram. We inject dye in the shoulder so we can see the small structures in the joint during an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
  • Diagnostic arthroscopy. The surgeon makes a small incision and sends a tiny camera attached to a tube to the joint. Doctors use this when other tests don't reveal the diagnosis.
  • Electromyogram. We measure the signals made by nerve cells in muscles to help diagnose nerve or muscle problems.
  • Imaging tests, including CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, and x-rays.

Customized splints, braces, and casts

We provide custom splints, braces, and casts to treat sprains, strains, and fractures and prevent worsening problems in the joint.

Medication and shots for treating hand, elbow, and shoulder conditions

Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can reduce swelling and pain in the joints. We also offer steroid injections for the elbow and shoulder, which can relieve pain from a range of joint problems.

Physical therapy for hand, elbow, and shoulder issues

Our physical therapists teach you techniques and exercises to both treat and prevent joint problems. They help you stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in your joints and advise you on heat and cold therapy.

Hand, elbow, and should surgery

Wherever possible, we use arthroscopic surgery, a minimally invasive surgery where the doctor maneuvers tools and a tiny camera through a small incision. This approach minimizes scarring and reduces the risk of complications.

Our hand, elbow, and shoulder surgeons perform a range of surgeries, including:

  • Fracture repair surgery.
  • Hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder reconstruction to repair torn ligaments, damaged cartilage, and other problems.
  • Joint replacement surgery, where the surgeon replaces damaged bone in the joint with plastic or metal implants.
  • Joint resurfacing surgery, where the surgeon only removes and replaces the damaged surface of one or more bones in a joint.
  • Nerve repair surgery.

What Sets UPMC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Apart?

We take joint problems seriously. By the time people call us, they often have difficulty sleeping or doing their job or have been sidelined from their sport.

That's why we aim to get you in as quickly as possible, often within days. Our goal is to cut down on the need for multiple visits by providing timely diagnostics and a range of treatments in one place.

Nationally recognized orthopaedic doctors and surgeons choose to practice at UPMC because of our commitment to excellence.

Insurances we accept

UPMC accepts most insurance plans. Please contact the orthopaedic department to inquire about your specific insurance coverage.

Contact UPMC for Hand, Elbow, and Shoulder Problems

To schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic experts or to ask a question about hand, elbow, and shoulder services, complete a form online.