Common Rotator Cuff Injuries And Treatment Options

Monday, August 31st, 2020

Rotator cuff injuries can be painful and debilitating. This is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, protecting it from damage. It also helps keep the entire shoulder structure in place. You depend on your rotator cuff for daily tasks like reaching for something on a desk or playing sports. Here is some information that may help you if you experience a rotator cuff injury.

Common injuries that can happen to the rotator cuff

Repetitive or sudden motions can cause injuries to this area of your body. There are also conditions that can hurt you over time. Symptoms of shoulder injuries include dull or aching pain, swelling, weakness in the affected area, and loss of sleep (if you roll over onto your shoulder). Here are some of the most common rotator cuff injuries.

  1. Tendinitis: This is a condition that happens over time as wear and tear cause inflammation in the shoulder joints. If you work in an environment where you perform repetitive motions over many years or you are an athlete, you may experience this type of rotator cuff injury.
  2. Strains and tears: These can happen both suddenly and over time and are usually located where the tendon meets the bone. Tendonitis can cause tears and strains if left untreated. If you are suffering from this condition, you will likely have pain, weakness, and loss of motion.
  3. Bursitis: This is a condition caused by inflammation in the bursa of the rotator cuff. These are sacs filled with fluid and located between the rotator cuff tendons and the shoulder joint.
  4. Shoulder impingement: This common cause of shoulder pain occurs when the rotator cuff rubs against the shoulder bone. This issue results in pain and swelling, as well as rotator cuff tears.

Rotator cuff injury treatments

If you don’t treat this type of injury, it could lead to permanent loss of mobility in the affected shoulder. Sometimes all your injury will need to heal is ice, rest, and physical therapy. But, severe injuries will require medical assistance. Surgery is reserved for the worst rotator cuff injuries. Here are some of the procedures that your orthopedic surgeon may suggest.

  • Joint replacement: This is not the most common surgical procedure used for rotator cuff injuries. It is reserved for the most severe cases and is only recommended if the surgeon believes the shoulder cannot heal in any other manner.
  • Arthroscopy: This is a day surgery that involves the use of minimally invasive tools to diagnose and repair joint issues. Recovery is typically fast and easy with this procedure.
  • Tendon transfer: In the case of an injured tendon that cannot be reattached, a tendon replacement will be needed. The orthopedic surgeon will use a tendon nearby to rebuild a healthy rotator cuff structure.
  • Open tendon repair surgery: This is similar to tendon repair and arthroscopy as it repairs the injured section of the shoulder. But, it uses an open surgery method so recovery will take longer.

Do you need help with your rotator cuff injury?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or would like to learn more about treatment options for your injury, contact Dr. Dear and his Team at Texas Panhandle Orthopedics. You can reach us by calling (806) 502-6570. We provide a variety of Services to get you back to living your best life.