Rotator Cuff Tear

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

A rotator cuff tear is one possible cause of shoulder pain. There are two types of rotator cuff tears. A partial rotator cuff tear occurs when the tendon protecting the top of the shoulder is damaged. A complete rotator cuff tear is when a tear goes through the tendon, or when the tendon is pulled off the bone.

Rotator Cuff Tear Causes

Depending on the cause of a rotator cuff injury, rotator cuff pain may vary in severity.

Rotator Cuff Tear from Overuse
Generally, a rotator cuff tear is an overuse injury that occurs over time, and is a result of repeating the same motion. Because of this, common rotator cuff tear causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Repetitive arm motions that are common in baseball
  • Repetitive arm motions that are common in tennis
  • Repetitive arm motions from painting
  • Repetitive arm motions from cleaning windows

Rotator Cuff Tear from Sudden Injury
In addition to the above examples of overuse that can cause a torn rotator cuff, a torn rotator cuff can also happen suddenly from a fall or from heavy lifting.

Rotator Cuff Tear Symptoms

Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear may not be immediately noticeable, especially depending on the severity of the rotator cuff tear.

Common rotator cuff tear symptoms include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Difficulties with raising the arm
  • Shoulder pain when moving the arm
  • Shoulder pain when laying on the arm in certain ways
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • The inability to lift things that normally would be able to be lifted
  • Hearing a click or pop when moving the arm

If you or a loved one experience shoulder pain, rotator cuff pain and any of the above symptoms, it's important to see a doctor to prevent the injury from getting worse. If shoulder pain from a torn rotator cuff goes untreated, it may cause additional health problems, including a frozen shoulder or shoulder arthritis.

Ignoring a torn rotator cuff can develop in to other conditions associated with shoulder pain. This can make it more challenging to provide effective treatment. Because of this, it's important to see a shoulder specialist if you or a loved one experience any torn rotator cuff symptoms.

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Diagnosing a Rotator Cuff Tear

Diagnosing a rotator cuff tear is essential for improving shoulder pain. The team of SOS shoulder specialists have the experience and specialized medical knowledge to diagnose a rotator cuff tear.

There are a variety of methods for diagnosing a rotator cuff tear, including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • MRI
  • X-Rays
  • Ultrasound

Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment

Rotator cuff tear treatment is essential for relieving shoulder pain. The SOS team of shoulder specialists can provide many different forms of rotator cuff tear treatments, depending on severity.

Rotator cuff tear treatments that can relieve shoulder pain include, but are not necessarily limited to:

Rotator Cuff Surgery for Shoulder Pain Treatment

The SOS team provides conservative rotator cuff tear treatment prior to recommending rotator cuff surgery. However, depending on an individual's rotator cuff tear, rotator cuff surgery may be the best option. Generally, a complete rotator cuff tear may require rotator cuff surgery.

The three types of rotator cuff surgery include:

  • Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Surgery
  • Open Rotator Cuff Surgery
  • Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Surgery

In the event that rotator cuff surgery is the best shoulder pain treatment for you or your loved one, an SOS shoulder doctor will be there after surgery to provide the smoothest possible recovery. The SOS team of shoulder specialists are extensively experienced with providing personalized recovery plans that are suitable for the individual health needs of each patient.

We Can Help Relieve Shoulder Pain from a Rotator Cuff Tear

The SOS team of shoulder specialists are experienced in relieving shoulder pain from rotator cuff tears. SOS provides total orthopedic care for rotator cuff tears and associated shoulder pain.

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