Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment in Northern Indiana
What are Rotator Cuff Injuries?
A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that circle the shoulder joint and keep the head of the upper arm bone firmly in the shallow socket of the shoulder. If you hurt your rotator cuff, you might feel a dull ache in your shoulder that gets worse at night.
Rotator cuff problems happen often and get worse as people get older. People whose jobs require them to move high a lot, like painters and carpenters, may get these injuries more often. Athletes may also encounter these injuries in throwing sports such as baseball, softball, and volleyball.
Rotator Cuff Injury Symptoms
Pain from a rotator cuff injury may:
- Be like a dull, deep pain in the shoulder
- Wake you up and make it hard to reach behind your back or comb your hair
- Come along with arm weakness
But some injuries to the rotator cuff don't hurt.
If the rotator cuff is torn, the most common symptoms include:
- Pain at rest and at night, especially if you are laying on the affected shoulder
- Pain when you raise and lower your arm or when you do certain movements
- Weakness when you try to lift or turn your arm
- When you move your shoulder in certain ways, you may feel or hear a cracking sound
When tears happen quickly, like when you fall, they generally increase in pain. Your upper arm may feel like it just snapped and feel weak right away.
On the other hand, tears that form slowly from overuse and stress can also cause pain and weakness in the arm, and you may feel pain in your shoulder or down your arm when you lift your arm.
Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment
Nonsurgical treatments are sometimes all you need for this type of injury. These treatments may include:
- RICE therapy - rest, ice, compression, and elevation
- Physical therapy - One of the first treatments that is generally suggested is physical therapy. Depending on where your rotator cuff injury is, exercises can help you get your shoulder back to being flexible and strong
- Steroid injections - A steroid shot into the shoulder joint might help, especially if the pain is making it hard to sleep, do daily tasks, or do physical therapy. Even though these shots often give temporary comfort, they can give temporary relief needed to make other treatments doable
There are many shoulder surgery options available for rotator cuff injuries. These include:
- Arthroscopic - In this process, the torn tendon is reattached to the bone by putting a tiny camera (arthroscope) and tools through small incisions
- Open surgery - In some cases, an open repair of a tendon may be a better choice. In these kinds of treatments, the damaged tendon is reattached to the bone through a larger incision
- Shoulder replacement - Shoulder replacement surgery may be needed for very bad rotator cuff problems. In an operation called reverse shoulder arthroplasty, the ball part of the artificial joint is put on the shoulder blade and the socket part is put on the arm bone. This helps make the artificial joint more stable
OSMC Shoulder Specialists