Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tears
Your New Orleans orthopaedic specialist describes a rotator cuff injury as any type of irritation or damage to your rotator cuff muscles or tendons. Causes of a rotator cuff injury may include falling, lifting and repetitive arm activities.
Your rotator cuff is made up of the muscles and tendons in your shoulder. These muscles and tendons connect your upper arm bone with your shoulder blade. They also help hold the ball of your upper arm bone firmly in your shoulder socket. The combination results in the greatest range of motion of any joint in your body.
Symptoms of Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator cuff injury signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain and tenderness in your shoulder, especially when reaching overhead, reaching behind your back, lifting, pulling or sleeping on the affected side;
- Shoulder weakness;
- Loss of shoulder range of motion;
- Inclination to keep your shoulder inactive.
The most common symptom orthopaedic surgeons report is pain. Lying on the affected shoulder also can be painful. If you have a severe injury, such as a large tear, you may experience continuous pain and muscle weakness.
Diagnosis of Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tears
If your injury appears to be severe or your orthopaedic specialist in New Orleans can’t determine the cause of your pain through physical examination, he or she may recommend diagnostic imaging tests to better delineate your shoulder joint, muscles and tendons. These may include:
- A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan;
- An ultrasound scan.
Treatment for Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tears
Most of the time, your New Orleans orthopaedic specialist will recommend exercise therapy designed to help heal your injury, improve the flexibility of your rotator cuff and shoulder muscles, and provide balanced shoulder muscle strength. Depending on the severity of your injury, physical therapy may take from several weeks to several months to reach maximum effectiveness.
Other rotator cuff injury treatments may include steroids, surgery to repair the tear or more extensive surgical options such as partial or total shoulder replacement.
We want to be your trusted Orthopaedic Specialists of New Orleans. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a shoulder rotator cuff tear, please call our office at (504) 897-7877 and a member of our caring staff will be happy to help you.
Thank you for trusting us with your care!