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The specific emphasis in this article has been directed toward the diagnosis of prevalent shoulder pathology in a young athletic population; however, as the interest in sports has blossomed in recent years now encompassing a larger age range, the physician must not neglect common pathologic conditions of the older athletes. Fastidious adherence to complete history, physical examination, and a high level of suspicion for uncommon disorders is paramount. Arthritides such as osteo, rheumatoid, septic, and
lyme as well as the hematologic disorders of multiple myeloma, lymphomas, leukemia, hemophilia, and Gaucher’s
disease can all present with shoulder pain. Thoracic outlet syndrome, scalene syndrome, supra-scapular nerve syndrome, and quadrilateral space syndrome comprise a group of nerve compression syndromes that are becoming more apparent as our diagnostic skills improve. Yet, the most pervasive disorders in the young athlete are due to lack of shoulder stability. By understanding the delicate balance in normal shoulder between mobility and stability, the clinician is better able to conceptualize the etiology and progression of the problem, and design the optimal treatment program.