Our Physicians

Robert Rolf, M.D.

Is My Shoulder Pain from Arthritis or Bursitis?

Your shoulders are packed with bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Shoulder pain can develop from a variety of conditions that affect one—if not many—of these structures. While this can make it difficult to pinpoint the exact source of your shoulder pain, an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment ...


Shoulder Trauma and Recovery: Fractures

Shoulder pain is far too common. Unfortunately, the discomfort of a stiff, painful shoulder is often made worse by the frustration of pinpointing its exact cause. The shoulder can be injured in a variety of ways, including dislocations, labral tears, rotator cuff tears, rotator cuff tendonitis, shoulder ...


Total Shoulder Replacement Recovery Plan

Total shoulder replacement surgery, also known as total shoulder arthroplasty, is an effective way of treating permanent joint damage caused by arthritis. It can relieve the severe pain and stiffness in a patient’s shoulder and allow them to return to sports they enjoy such as baseball, golf, or swimming. While ...


Tendon Injuries in the Shoulder FAQ

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the human body. It consists of the three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). It also consists of four joints: the glenohumeral joint, acromioclavicular joint, sternoclavicular joint, and scapulothoracic ...


FAQ Shoulder Fractures: Clavicle, Proximal, Humerus, Scapular

Any high-energy impact to the shoulder can cause a fracture in the bone; these types of impacts include falling, colliding with a wall, body-on-body collisions in sports, or acute trauma from a motor vehicle accident to name a few.  Shoulder fractures commonly involve the clavicle (collar bone), the ...


The Most Common Shoulder Injuries and How They’re Treated

The anatomical structures of the shoulder are all highly interconnected. So much, in fact, that shoulder injuries rarely affect just one area of the joint. A single shoulder injury can affect multiple muscles, ligaments, cartilage areas, tendons, and bones. Unfortunately, injuries are most likely ...


A Practical Guide to Common Shoulder Pains and Issues

There’s no shortage of shoulder pain going around. In fact, in 2006, an astonishing 7.5 million people went to the doctor complaining of shoulder issues, according to OrthoInfo. It’s no wonder, since the shoulder is an essential part of everyday life no matter what you do. While athletes rely ...


Exercises to Prevent Shoulder Injuries in Athletes

The shoulder is indisputably the most complex joint in the body. The arm would be drastically less useful without the range of motion the shoulder provides. Unfortunately, the shoulder’s complexity also means there are countless complications that can impair its function. Consider this: the shoulder ...


Total Shoulder Replacement or Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder arthroplasty, often called a total shoulder replacement, is a well-established surgery for treating severe pain and stiffness. In fact, approximately 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery each year in order to regain comfort and function, according to the Agency for Healthcare ...


Frequently Asked Questions about Rotator Cuff Tears

Your rotator cuff is an integral part of your shoulder—helping stabilize the shoulder by holding the ball (humerus) and glenoid socket (scapula) together as you raise and rotate the arm. When the rotator cuff is torn and not functioning properly, shoulder weakness and pain is the result. In this ...


Frequently Asked Questions about Shoulder Arthritis

Inflammation in your joints may be a result of degeneration called arthritis. This can cause symptoms ranging from pain, stiffness, loss of mobility to other consequences that can limit your lifestyle. Because your shoulder is comprised of three major bones (the humerus, scapula, and clavicle), inflammation ...


Shoulder Instability and Labral Tear FAQs

Because of the complex composition of the shoulder, you can position your arms and hands basically anywhere in space. But, for the very same reason, your shoulder is one of the easiest parts of your body to injure. One of the most common of these injuries is shoulder instability or “shoulder looseness.” ...


Frequently Asked Questions: Scapulothoracic Bursitis and Snapping Scapula

Over one third of shoulder movement occurs via the scapula (shoulder blade) and thoracic cage. As we’ve mentioned before, the shoulder is comprised of many intricate parts. Between these components, you’ll find bursa, fluid-filled sacs that cushion and protect body tissues from excessive friction. The ...


Frequently Asked Questions: Suprascapular Nerve Entrapment

Suprascapular nerve entrapment is a rare condition that can be easily misdiagnosed or even go unnoticed by those who are affected. Let’s get to the bottom of this condition and talk about who could be affected, what body parts are involved, and what are the symptoms, causes and treatments of this potentially ...


Frozen Shoulder FAQs

Frozen shoulder is a common, complex problem that affects many individuals. Despite ample research, a consensus over the true cause of frozen shoulder eludes us. Dr. Robert Rolf, a board certified orthopaedic surgeon at Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, has compiled a collection of frequently ...


Preventing Shoulder Cuff Injuries in Athletes

The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. It allows the arm to move away from the body’s midline, towards the body’s midline, forward, and backwards. It can also move the arm in a full circle, as well as rotate it towards or away from the midline. The articulation of ...


Frozen Shoulder: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints of the body. In its most simplified form, it is made up of the humerus (bone in upper arm), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone), as well as numerous muscles, ligaments, and tendons that provide the shoulder with its full range of motion. ...


Total Shoulder Replacement: A Treatment for Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder arthritis can be debilitating in many patients, resulting in persistent lateral arm pain that limits many activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, putting deodorant on or washing your hair. Many times, the pain of arthritis even awakens a person at night. Osteoarthritis, which ...


UCL Injuries of the Elbow

What is the UCL? The UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) is a ligament on the inside part of the elbow. There are three bones that make up the elbow joint: Humerus, Ulna and Radius. The elbow joint is unique because it can bend and straighten as well as rotate and twist. There are two ligaments in the elbow ...


Shoulder Labral Tears

Shoulder labral tears are a common acute injury.  Learn more about how tears occur and some of the best options to fix them. What is the Labrum? Let's start simple: The shoulder joint is comprised of 3 major bones: wing bone (scapula), collarbone (clavicle) and upper arm bone (Humerus). The Labrum ...


Meniscus Tears in the Knee

What is a Meniscus Tear? The meniscus is a cartilage cushion between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (large lower leg bone).  There are two menisci in each knee.  The lateral (outside) meniscus is small c-shaped cushion, whereas the medial (inside) meniscus is a larger c-shaped cushion.  Both ...


What is a Biceps Tendon Rupture and How is it Fixed?

The biceps muscle group (biceps brachii) is made up of two heads, the long head and the short head.  The muscles originate at the shoulder and insert on the radius (short bone in the forearm).  The main function of the biceps brachii is to supinate the forearm (pretend like you are holding a cup of ...


Shoulder Impingement

What is a Shoulder Impingement? Shoulder impingement occurs when the tunnel between acromion process off of the shoulder blade and the humeral head is small or the structures that run through the tunnel are inflamed.  The tunnel is known as the subacrimial space.  The structures that become inflamed ...


Shoulder Sling Education (Breg SlingShot™ 3)

The SlingShot™ 3 Brace is a shoulder sling manufactured by Breg. The brace is specially designed to hold the arm in the correct position to ensure that it heals quickly and correctly. Patients usually wear the brace for 4-6 weeks following surgery, and longer in some cases. One of the primary ...


Pre-Operative Packets

Pre-Operative Packets: Below you will find a list of Pre-Operative Packets for some of the common procedures performed by Dr. Robert Rolf. He specializes in elbow, hand, wrist, shoulder, knee, total joint replacements, and sports medicine. The pre-operative packets detail what to expect during and ...


Physical Therapy Protocols - Dr. Robert Rolf

Below you will find a list of physical therapy protocols that can be followed after having a procedure performed by Dr. Rolf. These are intended to provide guidelines of progression in recovery. They include weight bearing status, ranges of motion, use of a brace, exercises or stretches, and other information. AC ...


Sports Injury Prevention

Sports Injury Prevention: Stop the Injuries In the world of orthopaedics, few things are as important as sports injury prevention. From pro athletes to competitive high school students to weekend warriors, most of us aren't doing enough to prevent common sports injuries. Below is a list of common ...


Ankle Sprains

Rolled, Twisted and Turned: How to Get Back on the Court After Ankle Sprains: Rolled, twisted, and turned: three words that no one wants to associate with their ankles. All are common descriptions of ankle sprains. Ankle injuries can result in fracture, tendon injury, or most commonly an ankle sprain. ...


Achilles Injuries

Preventing Achilles Injuries: What can go wrong on the court? Most people are familiar with the great story of Achilles who was dipped into the River Styx to become invincible. Unfortunately, Thetis held him at the ankle and so is born the “Achilles heel.” According to Homer’s Illiad, Achilles ...


Hand Only CPR: A Better Way to Save Lives?

Hand Only CPR: A Better Way to Save Lives? Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest affects more than 300,000 people annually in the United States. It is certainly something that could happen on the handball court. When this happens, the heart stops beating. A person usually collapses, stops breathing and is ...


Shoulder Treatment Education

Why an Article on Shoulder Treatment Education? Proper shoulder treatment education is important when you or someone you love has a shoulder injury. The shoulder is a very delicate joint. Simple tasks like picking up pans, opening a window, moving a chair, or carrying a child can cause shoulder injuries. ...