Rotator Cuff Tears

A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons covering the head of the shoulder bone, and holding it securely inside the shoulder socket. A rotator cuff tear can restrict shoulder movement, making it difficult and painful to lift the arm to lift and rotate.

What You Need to Know About Rotator Cuff Tears

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

Your rotator cuff is a network of muscles and tendons in each shoulder. Together these interwoven parts hold your arm in your shoulder socket so you can lift and rotate objects. However, when you place too much stress on your rotator cuff, it can tear, resulting in immense pain and shoulder instability.

Rotator cuff tears can interfere with your daily routine. Activities like tying your shoes or preparing lunch can become painful. Injuries to the rotator cuff can occur as a result of trauma or as a side-effect of aging. Your doctor may recommend different treatment plans depending on the severity of your tear.

Finding the right treatment for your condition requires consultation with a physician. Book an appointment with the rotator cuff specialists at Resurgens Orthopaedics now.

What Causes a Torn Rotator Cuff?

A tear of the rotator cuff can be painful and can interfere with shoulder movement. Four muscles make up the cuff: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis muscles. Rotator cuffs injuries vary from partial to complete tears of these muscles.

Many factors can cause shoulder tears. Overuse from repetitive stress during activities like weightlifting, rowing, baseball, and tennis can put you at risk. Or occupations that involve repetitive motion and heavy lifting can also cause overuse injuries.

Degenerative tears can occur from age-related circumstances. As your body ages, the flow of your blood diminishes in critical areas like the rotator cuff. As a result the body loses its regenerative capability in these places, and tears heal less easily. Other age-related conditions like bone spurs can compromise the rotator cuff.

Rotator Cuff Tear Symptoms

Injuries to the rotator cuff may cause pain to radiate throughout your arm and shoulder. You may experience pain when you move your shoulder or even when you are at rest. Some people report feeling weak in their arms or a cracking sensation when they move in certain ways. Related conditions like shoulder impingement syndrome are different from rotator cuff tears, but have similar symptoms.

Many patients experience pain that disrupts their sleep schedule. Using your arm despite the pain can cause further damage to the rotator cuff. Early intervention can prevent symptoms from developing into more severe problems.

How are Rotator Cuff Tears Diagnosed?

During your first appointment, your doctor will perform a thorough evaluation of your condition. They will check your tender areas, and have you move your arm around in different directions. Your physician gauges your reactions to rule out any conditions such as acromioclavicular (AC) joint arthritis or pinched nerves. Expect to feel mild pain during this part of your evaluation.

Other steps are useful to help your doctor rule out conditions and plan your treatment plan. Diagnostic screening with x-rays or MRIs can show your doctor vital details like how recently you developed your injury and its severity.

Treatment for a Torn Rotator Cuff

A torn rotator cuff has many treatment options. Your physician will recommend treatment based on the extent of your injuries. Additionally they will develop a treatment based on your lifestyle goals.

Nonsurgical techniques to promote healing include bracing with a sling, medication, RICE therapy, physical therapy, subacromial injections, and activity modification. If your doctor prescribes medication, please be careful as these substances may be habit-forming.

For more extreme conditions such as chronic pain or severe tears, your physician may recommend surgery to restore your shoulder function. Resurgens Orthopaedics offers options to repair your shoulder. Procedures like mini-open rotator cuff repair let surgeons use a mix of traditional and minimally invasive techniques to reattach torn ligaments.

And for patients suffering from extreme deterioration, procedures like reverse total shoulder replacement augment damaged joints with artificial components.

Every patient needs unique attention and a plan to meet their needs. Schedule an appointment at Resurgens Orthopaedics now.

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