What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?
A rotator cuff is a group of tendons in the shoulder joint that provides stability and enables a wide range of motion. An injury to one or more of these tendons may result in a rotator cuff tear. It is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in middle-aged and older individuals.
What are the Causes of Rotator Cuff Tears?
A rotator cuff tear may occur with repeated use of the arm for overhead or reaching activities, playing sports, or from a motor vehicle accident.
What are the Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears?
A rotator cuff tear causes pain, weakness of the arm and occasionally a crackling sensation on moving the shoulder in certain positions. There may be stiffness, swelling, loss of movement and tenderness in the front of the shoulder.
How is a Rotator Cuff Tear Diagnosed?
Your surgeon diagnoses a rotator cuff tear largely based on a physical examination. X-rays will also be obtained to evaluate the bones and rule out other pathology. A rotator cuff tear is best viewed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
What are the Treatment Options for Rotator Cuff Tears?
The conservative treatment options for rotator cuff tears are:
- Temporary use of a shoulder sling
- Injection of a steroid (cortisone) into the subacromial space to relieve inflammation and pain
- Range of motion and strengthening exercises
Surgery for Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator cuff repair may be performed by open or arthroscopic surgery. In arthroscopy, small incisions are made around the shoulder and a small camera is inserted to visualize the joint and the space around the rotator cuff tendons. If necessary, the cuff tear is repaired using suture anchors. These anchor sutures help in attaching the tendons to the shoulder bone. Following the surgery, you may be advised to practice motion and strengthening exercises.
- Subacromial Impingement Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Shoulder Pain
- Anterior Shoulder Instability
- Shoulder Impingement
- SLAP Tears
- Arthritis of the Shoulder
- Shoulder Labral Tear
- Shoulder Dislocation
- Little League Shoulder
- Frozen Shoulder
- Shoulder Trauma
- Clavicle Fracture
- Proximal Humerus Fractures
- Sternoclavicular Joint (SC joint)
- Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Osteoarthritis
- Proximal Biceps Tendinitis
- Internal Impingement of the Shoulder
- AC Joint Separation
- Shoulder Tendonitis
- Partial Rotator Cuff Tear
- Bicep Tendon Rupture
- Shoulder Labral Tear with Instability
- Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture
- Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder
- Massive Retracted Rotator Cuff Tear
- Calcification Tendinitis
- Rotator Cuff Pain