Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

Years ago I had a rotator cuff tear of my right shoulder. I opted not to treat it with surgery. I got by with doing an exercise program for many years. Recently, I quit doing my exercises and got a bad infection in the shoulder. Is there any connection between the two?

Answer:

There may be a link here. Bacterial infection of any joint can occur whenever there has been damage to the joint. Since bacteria are carried through the body via the bloodstream, you may have been at increased risk from both the torn rotator cuff and lack of movement without the exercises.

Movement and exercise helps keep the blood flow moving to various body parts. The blood helps carry dead cells, bacteria, and other debris away from the joint.

The older you are, the more likely you are to be affected. Other risk factors for joint infection include illness or disease such as heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, or treatment with chemotherapy for cancer. In-Ho Jeon, MD, et al. Arthroscopic Management of Septic Arthritis of the Shoulder Joint. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. August 2006. Vol. 88-A. No. 8. Pp. 1802-1806.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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