What is the Shoulder Clinic?
Shoulder problems develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, an injury or the natural process of aging. Injuries are the most common cause of shoulder pain. They may occur from a fall on an outstretched arm, a direct blow to the shoulder, or abnormal twisting or bending of the shoulder. Sometimes symptoms began gradually or during everyday activities. Overuse injuries occur when too much stress is placed on a joint or other tissue, often by overdoing or repetition of an activity.
Many people in Alberta are referred to see a surgeon for their shoulder pain, but the wait times can be very long. The Shoulder Clinic was created to quickly and accurately assess shoulder pain that may need further treatment or a surgical referral.
- An assessment from a sport medicine physician and a physiotherapist
- A customized diagnosis and treatment plan
- Surgical referral for those who may need surgery
How to access the clinic
You will need a referral from your family physician to access the Shoulder Clinic team. Once we receive the referral, we will contact you to book an appointment.
Is there a cost for visits?
All visits in the shoulder clinic are covered under Alberta Health Care with a valid Alberta Health or Provincial Health Care card. Your assessment team may recommend additional treatments that are not covered by Alberta Health.
Did you know 75% of patients with a full thickness rotator cuff tear can be treated without surgery?
First Shoulder Clinic Appointment
Arrive on time
Check in at the front desk of the University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre.
Bring your healthcare card
You will be asked for your Alberta Healthcare Care or health insurance information.
Bring a sleeveless shirt
Please bring a short sleeve or sleeveless shirt. We will need to access your shoulder.
Your appointment will last about 60-90 minutes
What to expect at your first appointment
During your appointment, your physiotherapist and sport medicine physician will talk with you about your symptoms and medical history, conduct a physical examination, and possibly order diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or blood tests.
Your assessment team will discuss your diagnosis and work with you to establish a treatment program that will best suit your needs.
The treatment plan may include:
- Referral for physiotherapy or a home strengthening program
- Medications or injections to control pain
- Surgical referral (if you are deemed to be a surgical candidate)