Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. A rotator cuff injury can cause a dull ache in the shoulder, which often worsens when you try to sleep on the involved side. Rotator cuff injuries occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their jobs or sports. Examples include painters, carpenters, and people who play baseball or tennis. The risk of rotator cuff injury also increases with age.
Rotator cuff injuries can range in severity from simple inflammation to complete tears.
Rotator cuff disease may be the result of either a substantial injury to the shoulder or to progressive degeneration or wear and tear of the tendon tissue.
The following factors may increase your risk of having a rotator cuff injury:
Age. As you get older, your risk of a rotator cuff injury increases. Rotator cuff tears are most common in people older than 40.
Certain sports. Athletes who regularly use repetitive arm motions, such as in handball and tennis players have a greater risk of having a rotator cuff injury.
Construction jobs. Occupations such as carpentry or house painting require repetitive arm motions, often overhead, that can damage the rotator cuff over time.
Family history. There may be a genetic component involved with rotator cuff injuries as they appear to occur more commonly in certain families.
The pain associated with a rotator cuff injury may:
Be described as a dull ache deep in the shoulder
Disturb sleep, particularly if you lie on the affected shoulder
Make it difficult to comb your hair or reach behind your back
Be accompanied by arm weakness
In case of inflammation, impingement syndrome, and even partial tear, conservative treatments such as rest and physical therapy sometimes are all that's needed to recover from the injury. PT may include range of motion and strengthening exercises and manual techniques to relieve pain.
In case of a complete tear surgery is often the best choice. Our orthopedic surgeons will be happy to meet you for a thorough interview and examination and to discuss the surgical options.