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Rotator cuff pain occurs when you engage your shoulder in any upward motions. The pain can be a result of bone making contact with your rotator cuff. We’re going to take a look at the symptoms, diagnostics, and treatment options for rotator cuff injuries.
If you suspect you may have a rotator cuff tear, contact one of our Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow specialists. We have physicians in Atlanta and Marietta that can help diagnose your problem. Our orthopedic specialists will work to find the least invasive way to relieve your pain.
Your rotator cuff is composed of tendons and muscles. Your rotator cuff muscles and tendons work together to stabilize your shoulder joint and allow you to move your shoulder.
Some of the most common rotator cuff injuries include:
Make sure to check with a specialist to confirm the origin of your pain.
The most common reason why a rotator cuff tear occurs is due to your tendon wearing down with age and through use. Additionally, an accident that results in a dislocated shoulder or a broken collarbone can cause a tear.
There are several different types of rotator cuff injuries. Some of the most common symptoms include:
If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, it may be time to see your doctor. If left untreated, your pain could become worse over time.
Thankfully, shoulder discomfort doesn’t always mean surgical intervention is needed. The right orthopedic specialists will help you determine a plan to alleviate your discomfort.
A rotator cuff tear is evaluated according to the type and severity of symptoms. The first step in evaluation will be a full medical history and a physical exam. A medical history will tell your provider if this type of injury is common in your family.
Your specialist will likely ask you detailed questions about the pain to help them determine the problem. Once your doctor has a better idea of the issue, they’ll examine the area to identify if certain tendons or inner structures have obvious damage.
Your doctor may order an X-ray or MRI of your shoulder. The results from an X-ray or MRI should reveal the extent of your injury, ensuring an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Treatment options for your discomfort will vary depending on the severity of your injury.
At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, we do our best to make sure that your treatment is the least invasive treatment possible.
Below you’ll find a list of non-invasive ways that we can treat your shoulder pain:
If your rotator cuff tear or injury doesn’t respond to the treatments listed above, surgery may be recommended. Sometimes rotator cuff tears are too badly damaged to heal on their own, even with non-invasive treatments.
Most rotator cuff tear surgeries can be performed arthroscopically. Arthroscopic surgery entails small incisions made to the shoulder. Your surgeon will use a camera to examine the tendons, rotator cuff, and other surrounding structures.
Once the damaged tissue is identified, they’ll repair it efficiently. The arthroscopic approach minimizes healing time and leaves almost no scarring.
In severe cases, rotator cuff tear surgery may require an open incision to reach damaged structures inside your shoulder. If this is the case, our specialists will walk you through the procedure.
Postoperative treatment is paramount in ensuring a good outcome. We’ll work closely with your physical/occupational therapist to track your healing process.
At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, we specialize in diagnosing and treating rotator cuff tears and other shoulder injuries. Our specialists have convenient locations in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!
Randall Alexander, MD