Preventing and Repairing Rotator Cuff Tears
Pain resulting from a rotator cuff tear can be felt over the outside of the shoulder and upper arm. Patients may find it difficult to raise the injured arm above the head or behind the back, along with pain.
The rotator cuff may get torn due to a number of injuries, caused due to –
• Falling on the arm
• Lifting or pulling heavy objects improperly
• Repetitive stress overhead
• Protruding bone spurs that damage the tendon
Treating the rotator cuff
The first step in treating rotator cuff tears is to stop any activities that caused the injury and allow the shoulder to heal. Your doctor may suggest icing the injured shoulder and using compression wraps, but consulting an experienced orthopedic surgeon is best.
Conservative treatment options include physical therapy to strengthen the shoulder and improve mobility, NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to ease inflammation and pain; and even steroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation.
Full rotator cuff tears require to be repaired arthroscopically. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that relieves pain that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair uses a small camera, or arthroscope, to view inside the shoulder joint. The surgery is done under regional anesthesia. During the surgery, the surgeon will make small incisions in the shoulder to insert the arthroscope and other fine instruments to repair the rotator cuff. The surgery may take 1-2 hours, depending on the extent of the injury.
Left untreated, a rotator cuff tear may worsen, resulting in long-term limitation, and continuous pain in the injured shoulder. Pain, weakness, and other symptoms that last more than 6 months are indications that you may need surgical treatment.
Preventing future injury
Once rotator cuff surgery has been done, your orthopedic surgeon will help you recover as well as prevent future damage to the rotator cuff. You would undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation to strengthen the shoulder muscles, returning motion and function to the shoulder. Your doctor and physical therapist will show you proper lifestyle modifications and exercises to rebuild the shoulder safely. Following your surgeon’s rehabilitation plan will accelerate your progress and shoulder stability after treatment.
If you are experiencing persistent rotator cuff pain, schedule a consultation with an experienced orthopedic surgeon right away.
To learn more about, consult one of the best Shoulder Surgeons in Phoenix AZ, call Phoenix Shoulder and Knee at 480-219-3342.
Phoenix Shoulder & Knee
1215 W Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281
Dr. Adam Farber is a Fellowship Trained, Board Certified Phoenix and Scottsdale orthopedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine.
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