Orthopaedics, Spine & Podiatry Practice located in Hazlet, Old Bridge, & Middletown, NJ
When you develop shoulder pain and it’s hard to move your arms, chances are it’s due to a rotator cuff tear. At Ani Orthopaedics in Hazlet and Old Bridge, New Jersey, they specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of rotator cuff injuries, working with each patient to help them restore strength and function. If you have questions about shoulder pain or would like to schedule an appointment, call Ani Orthopaedics today or use the convenient online booking feature.
Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A
What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff includes a group of four muscles and their tendons. The muscles originate from the shoulder blade (scapula), while their wide tendons come together to attach to the upper arm (humerus). The rotator cuff is responsible for two essential jobs: providing shoulder movement and maintaining shoulder strength and stability.
What causes a rotator cuff tear?
Your shoulder’s wide range of motion makes it susceptible to tears that most often occur in the tendons. Tears develop due to:
- Degeneration: caused by daily wear and tear
- Acute injury: often due to falling on your arm or lifting a heavy object
- Repetitive stress: due to overhead motions like swimming and throwing a ball
- Bone spurs: develop over time and rub against tendons
As you get older, blood supply to the rotator cuff tendons declines. Without enough blood, the rotator cuff lacks the oxygen and nutrients it needs to continuously heal from daily stress. As a result, it’s more likely to tear.
What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?
An acute shoulder injury causes immediate pain. When the tear develops gradually, symptoms are mild at first, then worsen over time.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear may include:
- Pain while sleeping or resting
- Weakness when lifting or using your arm
- A crackling sensation when moving your shoulder
- Pain when moving your arm
Rotator cuff injuries seldom heal without appropriate treatment, which means that your pain and weakness may increase and arm movement may become more limited.
How are rotator cuff problems treated?
At your initial appointment, the doctor thoroughly assesses the type and extent of your tear, then develops a treatment plan based on the severity of the problem, your activity level, and your age.
Resting your shoulder, physical therapy, and joint injections may relieve your pain and maintain strength and mobility. However, nonsurgical treatment might not lead to complete healing of a tear and your pain may continue.
When your pain persists despite conservative treatment, your tear is severe, or you use your arms for overhead sports or work, the doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery to repair the tendon.
At the earliest sign of shoulder pain, call Ani Orthopaedics or schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking option.
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