Skip to main content

Shoulder injuries: acute management


Picture of Shoulder injuries: acute management
1 hour
Musculoskeletal & Orthopaedics
Publish Date
04 April 2016
01 13 January 2024
Create an account and subscribe

About this Course

Shoulder injuries are common in primary care and can be difficult to correctly diagnose and manage.

The shoulder is a mobile joint and vulnerable to injury from sport, falls, and overhead work.

Common shoulder injuries include rotator cuff tendinopathy or tear, rotator cuff impingement, capsular stiffness, glenohumeral instability or dislocation, muscular tears, or acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) sprains. 

Acute injury can be associated with considerable pain and disability, making early assessment difficult. While compensating for pain or dysfunction after a shoulder injury, further mechanical disruption can occur. This can compound the dysfunction and the time until full recovery.

Objectives of this course:

  • Develop an understanding of the varied presentation and possible diagnoses in acute shoulder injury.
  • Be able to take a careful history and conduct an examination of an acute shoulder injury.
  • Understanding the appropriate imaging investigations for shoulder injuries and the indications for these.
  • Develop an understanding of the options for the initial management of acute shoulder injuries. 
  • Understand the indications for early specialist referral of shoulder pathology.


This content was created by Dr Helen Joyce Fulcher MBChB, DipPaed, PGCertHSc(Sports Med), and reviewed by Dr Hazel Fuiava (MBChB, DipPaeds).

Course Content

Shoulder injuries: acute management Show activities
Shoulder injuries: acute management
Shoulder management Quiz