Rotator Cuff Injury
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The muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff hold the humeral head in the glenoid socket. The rotator cuff helps to lift and rotate the arm. The tendons of the rotator cuff have very poor blood supply which lead to degradation as we age. Rotator cuff injuries are common in sports and work that require repetitive overhead activity. Tears also occur with trauma such as dislocations.
Symptoms include:
  • Pain in the front of the shoulder that radiates down the arm.
  • Stiffness with loss of range of motion.
  • Catching and popping sensation.
  • Weakness and the inability to lift the arm overhead.
  • Muscle atrophy (dissipation).
Non-surgical treatment
  • A sling to limit shoulder motion or maintain a position.
  • Rest and minimal activity.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease shoulder pain. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.
  • Cold therapy to stimulate blood flow and relieve the shoulder pain associated with inflammation. Cold therapy should be applied several times over the course of the day.
  • Rehabilitation to strengthen surrounding structures and increase range of motion.
  • Steroid injection to control severe shoulder pain.
Surgical treatment
  • A debridement to trim and smooth a partial tear.
  • Suturing of the torn tendon for a complete tear.

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Rotator Cuff Injury