Rotator Cuff TearsA rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. In 2008, close to 2 million people in the United States went to their doctors because of a rotator cuff problem.  A torn rotator cuff will weaken your shoulder and cause pain. Daily activities, like combing your hair or getting dressed, may become painful and difficult. The rotator cuff is a network of four muscles that come together as tendons to form a covering around the head of the humerus and helps to lift and rotate your arm.

In many cases, torn tendons begin by fraying. As the damage progresses, the tendon can partially or completely tear. People who do repetitive lifting or over-head activities are at risk for rotator cuff tears. Although overuse tears are most common, traumatic or sudden injuries can occur too. The most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear are pain at rest, at night or when moving your arm and weakness when lifting or rotating your arm

Your Orthopaedic Clinic doctor will examine your shoulder and will measure shoulder motion and strength. X-rays and MRIs are often necessary to identify a rotator cuff tear. In some patients, non-surgical treatment relieves pain and improves function in the shoulder. Nonsurgical treatment options may include rest, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and steroid injections. Your doctor may recommend surgery if your pain does not improve with nonsurgical methods. Indications that surgery will be good for you are continued pain, symptoms have lasted greater than 3 months, a large tear and significant weakness and loss of function in your shoulder. The doctors of The Orthopaedic Clinic generally perform arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, the most minimally invasive procedure available allowing the quickest and least painful recovery.

Chronic shoulder and arm pain are good reasons to see your doctor. Early treatment can prevent your symptoms from getting worse. It will also get you back to your normal routine that much quicker. The goal of any treat-ment is to reduce pain and re-store function. There are several treatment options for a rotator cuff tear, and the best option is different for every person. Your Orthopaedic Clinic surgeon will discuss with you the best treatment to meet your individual health needs.

The surgeons at The Orthopaedic Clinic have years of experience in treating all types of shoulder problems and are offering the latest and greatest in surgical and non-surgical options and techniques. Come see us today for a consultation!

Printable Version