Shoulder specialists spend years building subspecialty knowledge to best help patients reduce their symptoms and restore comfortable movement. For residents of Akron, PA, take your first step toward optimal health by scheduling your first appointment with Dr. Michael Bercik at Lancaster Orthopedic Group. 

Shoulder Specialist Akron, PADr. Michael Bercik completed his medical degree at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School following his Magna Cum Laude graduation from Georgetown University. He quickly realized his passion for helping patients recover from injuries and ailments of the shoulder and elbows. He completed his residency and three fellowships to specialize in shoulder and elbow conditions. Dr. Bercik brings advanced and innovative care techniques to his patients, creating an environment of trust, motivation, and outstanding results.

Common shoulder injuries in hockey

Why are shoulder injuries common in hockey?

Hockey is widely known as one of the most aggressive sports – and for a good reason. Hockey often involves contact between players’ shoulders, such as checking or getting hit by a player as you compete for the puck. Because of the high rate of collisions in hockey, shoulder joint separations and shoulder dislocations are common. 

Shoulder joint separations

Shoulder joint separations, also known as AC joint separations, involve the ligaments that attach the clavicle to the coracoid. The clavicle is your collarbone, and the coracoid is the small bone in front of the shoulder. The clavicle is separated from the shoulder blade when this ligament is injured. This injury typically occurs from a forceful impact to the front or top of the shoulder. It happens in hockey most often when players collide shoulder-first, into the boards or against another player.  

When separation of the shoulder occurs, players will typically feel pain in the joint and a feeling of instability. Depending on the severity of the injury and damage to surrounding tissues, players may have difficulty moving the affected arm. When this injury is suspected, it is best to rest the area, immobilize the shoulder (such as with a sling), and seek the advice of a medical professional. Severe separations can require 6 to 9 months of recovery, and delayed care can lengthen this recovery period. 

Shoulder joint dislocation

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. When the ball (or head of the humerus) is forced to move out of the socket (or glenoid), this is called a shoulder joint dislocation. This often occurs in hockey from direct collisions and is accompanied by pain, restricted movement, and possible visible misalignment. When the shoulder dislocates, athletes need to seek medical care immediately and return the shoulder to its normal position as soon as possible. Once you experience a dislocation, you are at a higher risk of repeat dislocations, so you must seek medical attention to properly rehabilitate the injury and reduce the likelihood of future dislocations. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary. Non-surgical rehabilitation typically takes 2-3 weeks to recover, while surgery can lengthen recovery time to 8 months.

Let’s connect!

Shoulder pain can significantly derail your everyday activities. If you are interested in seeing how a shoulder specialist may help, contact our office today to schedule your first appointment. For Akron, PA residents, schedule an appointment by using the “Schedule An Appointment” link in the top right of the website or calling (866) 564-1000.