Rotator Cuff Tear
The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder joint providing support and enabling wider range of motion. Major injury to these tendons may result in a rotator cuff tear. It is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in middle aged adults and older individuals.
Rotator cuff tears result from pressure on the rotator cuff from part of the shoulder blade (scapula) as the arm is lifted. It may occur with repeated use of the arm for overhead activities, while playing sports or as a result of aging.
Rotator cuff tears cause pain and weakness. There may be stiffness, swelling, loss of movements, and tenderness in the front of the shoulder.
Your surgeon diagnoses a rotator cuff tear based on the physical examination, X-rays, and imaging studies, such as MRI. A rotator cuff tear is best viewed on magnetic resonance imaging.
Conservative Treatment Options
- Shoulder sling
- Pain medication injection of a steroid (cortisone) and a local anesthetic in the subacromial space of the affected shoulder to help decrease the inflammation and pain
- Physical Therapy
Rotator cuff repair may be performed by mini open surgery or arthroscopic procedure. In either procedure, the tendons are repaired back to their original location. Recovery from rotator cuff repair surgery takes several months and requires physical therapy.