Rotator Cuff Tears: Know Your Options
All throughout life we experience various body pains and aches. Most often they’re minor pains from a recent activity or accident that we can manage ourselves, but sometimes we experience something more jarring and long-lasting. For these situations Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine is here to help.
One common injury that requires professional medical attention is a rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint that have a large impact on your ability to raise and lower your arm. Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common sources of pain in adults.
Rotator cuff injuries are most often caused by excessive stress to the shoulder or typical degeneration from age. Athletes and individuals over the age of 40 are most vulnerable to rotator cuff tears, and should take note if they begin to experience consistent shoulder pain following a fall or heavy lifting, as well as a general increase in shoulder pain over time.
Symptoms of rotator cuff tears, include:
- Pain in your shoulder and arm when resting, especially if lying on the affected side
- Difficulty moving your arm and shoulder
- Problems or pain when lifting your arm
- Popping or cracking sounds when moving your shoulder
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the injury, though around 50% of cases can be treated using non-invasive methods which restore the functionality of the shoulder. Most commonly, a combination of rest, reduced activity level, and physical therapy are able to relieve pain and restore rotator cuff functionalities.
However, more severe cases may require surgery to repair the damaged rotator cuff. Most rotator cuff tears can be repaired arthroscopically. Afterwards the joint is immobilized for at least a month, followed by a gradual reintroduction of activity, and progressing to an active exercise routine to build strength which takes several months.
If you’re suffering from shoulder pain and want to know more about your options, give the experts at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine a call today at 904-825-0540.
ALBERT VOLK, MD
Board certifications in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. He specializes in an all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair of the shoulder.