Jill Biden shoulder surgery

July 13, 2009 2:49:14 PM PDT
The wife of Vice President Joe Biden underwent shoulder surgery in Philadelphia.Not many details have been released about the surgery or what Jill Biden's exact problem is.

Dr. John Salvo of Cooper Sports Medicine says three of the most common shoulder problems for women are a rotator cuff tear, impingement, and what's called a frozen, or stiff shoulder.

Dr. John Salvo: "Frozen shoulder is probably 4-5 times more common in women than men, impingement may be two times."

A frozen shoulder is when the tissue surrounding the joint becomes swollen- causing pain and limiting movement.

Impingement is when this ligament becomes inflamed and a bone spur develops.

"What happens is if you can imagine coming up and overhead... you have all this inflammation, and that can cause pain."

Dr. Salvo says we see shoulder injuries more frequently in women for numerous reasons. It could be from overuse - such as in tennis or golf. Another factor is some of the injuries are linked to estrogen. Others may be related to auto-immune illnesses which are typically seen more in women.

Jill Biden reportedly had an outpatient surgery and is now home

However Dr. Salvo says many shoulder problems don't require surgery and can be fixed with physical therapy and medication.

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