Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Bursitis
New Orleans orthopaedic specialists describe rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis as an inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff. Initially, microscopic tears form in the tendons and trigger an inflammatory response, causing pain.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Bursitis
Pain related to rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis usually occurs over the front and side areas of the shoulder, often with some radiation to the elbow. Typically, the pain is aggravated by overhead activity and is worse at night. Patients often report a clicking or popping sensation in the affected shoulder.
In the early stages, rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis causes a generalized shoulder ache. There may also be pain when raising the arm out to the side or in front of the body (the painful arc). Some people complain that the pain makes it difficult for them to sleep, especially when they roll onto the affected shoulder.
As the condition worsens, the discomfort increases. The joint may become stiffer. Sometimes a “catching” sensation is felt when the arm is raised or lowered. Weakness and inability to raise the arm may indicate that the rotator cuff tendons are actually torn.
Diagnosis of Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Bursitis
The diagnosis of rotator cuff tendonitis is usually made by your New Orleans orthopaedic specialists based on the medical history and physical examination. Orthopaedic surgeons may order an X-ray to look for a curved or hooked acromion process or bone spurs around the AC joint.
An MRI scan may be performed to rule out a tear of the rotator cuff.
Treatment For Rotator Cuff Tendonitis And Bursitis
Rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis is usually treated conservatively. Treatment may include stretches, strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, rest or activity modification, and/or heat/cold therapy.
In some cases a cortisone injection may be required to help decrease the pain and inflammation. Finally, people who do not improve with conservative measures may benefit from surgery. Your orthopaedic surgery in New Orleans can help outline a treatment program.
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