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Shoulder Specialist

Joseph  P. Tobin, MD, FAAOS -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Tobin Bone and Joint Surgery

Joseph P. Tobin, MD, FAAOS

Orthopedic Surgeon located in Hilton Head, SC & Pooler, GA

If you have pain or dysfunction in your shoulder, it can have a severely limiting effect on your ability to use your hands. People experiencing disability because of shoulder problems can find relief with board-certified orthopedic surgeon Joseph Tobin, MD, of Tobin Bone and Joint Surgery. At offices in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Pooler, Georgia, Dr. Tobin diagnoses the cause of your shoulder condition and offers both conservative and surgical solutions. To benefit from his considerable expertise, call your nearest office or book an appointment online today.

Shoulder Q&A

What conditions can affect the shoulder?

Shoulder injuries are a common problem, largely due to the joint’s impressive mobility. The ball and socket joint, held in place by muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff, has an extensive range of motion that allows you to move your arms in many directions.

The downside is that all that movement wears the joint and leaves it vulnerable to damage. The kinds of shoulder conditions Tobin Bone and Joint Surgery sees most often include:

Rotator cuff tears

The muscles and tendons in your rotator cuff can stretch too far or tear, either partially or completely. That causes shoulder pain and makes it difficult to raise your arm.

Bursitis and tendinitis

A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions the bones in your shoulder. Tendons are connective tissues attaching muscles to bones. Bursae and tendons sometimes get irritated by other tissues or bone spurs, or overuse can cause inflammation. The result is swelling, pain, and limited movement in your shoulder.

Fractures and dislocations

Fractures (cracks or breaks in the bone) can affect the upper arm bone, shoulder blade, or collarbone — a small bone at the top of your shoulder. A dislocation occurs when the ball-shaped upper arm bone comes partially or entirely out of its socket in your shoulder blade.

The rotator cuff is likely to suffer damage, as well as the cartilage (labrum) in the socket. You could also develop shoulder instability after a dislocation.


Arthritis causes chronic joint inflammation, pain, and loss of function. There are many different forms, but the most common is osteoarthritis. That condition results from years of wear on the joint or can develop more quickly following an injury. Repeated injuries can also cause conditions like cuff tear arthropathy.

How are shoulder conditions treated?

When treating shoulder problems, Dr. Tobin uses non-surgical methods, to begin with, unless you need an urgent operation for severe trauma. Your treatment plan could consist of various therapies, depending on your condition. These might include:

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises
  • Thermal therapy
  • A sling or splint
  • Steroid injections

These approaches provide lasting relief from pain and restoration of shoulder function for most patients. However, some problems may require surgery.

When would I need shoulder surgery?

You might need shoulder surgery if your injury can’t heal by itself or if conservative treatments aren’t providing a solution to your symptoms. The form of surgery you need depends on your condition and the extent of any damage. Options include:

  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Open reduction for fractures
  • Total shoulder replacement
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement

Where possible, Dr. Tobin uses minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. These cause less tissue damage and pain, so you make a quicker recovery.

For expert diagnosis and treatment of your shoulder condition, call Tobin Bone and Joint Surgery or book an appointment online today.