Rotator Cuff Injuries: Treatment Options and Recovery

Rotator Cuff Injury

There are several different ways you can injure your shoulder joint, but very often the rotator cuff is involved. If you’re having shoulder pain, you should see a doctor right away, because without treatment, rotator cuff injuries can lead to permanent damage, limited mobility, permanent weakness, or other undesirable outcomes.

At Precision Bone & Joint, Dr. Harris S. Rose has many years of experience diagnosing and treating rotator cuff injuries. With his expertise, we’ve put together some information about rotator cuff problems and treatments. Read on to learn more.

Risks for rotator cuff injury

Certain factors put you at a higher risk of rotator cuff injury than others. For example, age increases the chances you’ll experience a rotator cuff injury. Other risk factors include:

Rotator cuff treatments

The most appropriate treatment for your rotator cuff injury depends in large part on the extent of the injury.

The rotator cuff is actually the collective name for the tendons and muscles that surround your shoulder joint. The socket of your shoulder, where the knobby part of your upper arm bone rests, is quite shallow, and the structures of your rotator cuff hold the bone in place in the socket.

When those tendons and muscles are torn or strained, the result is a rotator cuff injury. Most often, the soft tissue has tears, ranging from very small tears, sometimes called microtears, to extensive tears or even complete tears.

Nonsurgical approaches

About 9080% of people who have rotator cuff tears improve without surgery. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help, along with other interventions.

One of the simplest treatments is to change what you’re doing. If, for example, you’re a pitcher in your community baseball league, you may need to find a different sport so that your rotator cuff has time to heal. Rest is often a critical component in healing.

Dr. Rose may recommend certain exercises or a course of physical therapy in order to strengthen your shoulder and help your rotator cuff heal. Our on-site therapists specialize in improvingImproving the strength and flexibility of  your shoulder. This can help ease pain and also prevent additional injury.

In some cases, steroid injections are the best way to reduce inflammation and pain. Dr. Rose and his team provide these in the office when needed.

Surgical intervention

Dr. Rose may suggest surgery to correct your problem, but it depends on your specific situation. Usually, he recommends surgery if other approaches haven’t worked, you’ve had symptoms for a long time, or you have significant loss of function. Rotator cuff repairs are generally performed as arthroscopic surgery, using small incisions and a camera to see and remedy the problem.

Recovery from rotator cuff treatment

Your recovery time depends on the treatment approach. Physical therapy and strengthening exercises take some time as your body gradually builds up strength. Recovering from surgery also takes some time because your body has to heal.

Whatever the treatment, our staff helps you understand what to expect and how long each step should take. You can expect thorough follow-up care throughout your course of treatment.

You’re a unique individual, and Dr. Rose suggests a course of treatment based on your circumstances. If you’d like to find out whether you should be worried about that ache in your shoulder, book an appointment at Precision Bone and Joint online or by phone today.

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