What Is A Rotator Cuff Tear And What Are Its Treatment Options

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Shoulder injuries are never easy to deal with and they require a lot of care. Here we are sharing the knowledge of shoulder surgeons about rotator cuff injuries and their treatments.

What Is A Rotator Cuff Tear?

Rotator cuff injury or tear is any tear or impact on the muscle of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons which help to make a rounded cuff on your shoulder. The rotator cuff is also responsible for a lot of different movements of your arm and shoulder, such as up and down movement, rotating the shoulders and arms; hence called the rotator cuff.

Also, the rotator cuff is responsible for keeping the ball in your shoulder active, so it doesn’t get jammed and keeps moving and rotating. If any injury is imparted to the rotator cuff, then your rotatory movements of the arm and shoulder will be adversely affected.

How Does Rotator Cuff Injury Occur?

Rotator cuff injury can be due to many reasons. The muscles in the rotator cuff are held together by tendons, which act like glue and hold the muscles in place and also allow significant movement. Now, sometimes, the tendons can tear apart. Tendon tears are very common in rotator cuffs, because of excessive movement of the shoulder. The tears can be due to a hard impact, a fall, too much tension in the shoulder, or even a sudden jerk to your shoulder.

Rotator cuff tears are very common in athletes, weightlifters, bikers, hikers and people who use their shoulders extensively for movement. Rotator cuff tears can lead to severe pain and in some cases, inability to move your shoulder for rotation as well.

Other rotator cuff injuries include rotator cuff impingement, which is basically the inflammation of the tendons holding the muscle together. The inflammation can lead to squeezing of the muscle and ultimately can cause restricted movement in the shoulder and arms.

Another very common rotator cuff injury is fibrosis. The fibrosis usually occurs in the rotator interval, which is a small triangular space between the muscles. This can also lead to formation of edema and fibroids, if neglected for a long time. This also restricts movement of arm and shoulder and you are unable to move or rotate your shoulder properly.

How Can You Treat A Rotator Cuff Injury?

These injuries should never be left neglected… otherwise, your shoulder could become frozen forever. So, to avoid this from happening. The following treatments should be considered.

Pain Injections

Almost all shoulder injuries cause enormous pain in the arm and shoulder region. Rotator cuff injuries are no different. For pain management, doctors can prescribe you injections for relief. Injections can be taken safely, if the tear is minor and there is no excessive displacement in the shoulder. The tear heals by itself over time and pain is managed by injections and pain medications. The choice is up to you, if you want to get injections or medications orally. If the pain is tolerable for you, then you can get away with oral pain killers. But if the pain is excruciating and you feel like you can’t take it anymore then an injection with a sedative is prescribed by orthopedic practitioners.

Therapy

If your shoulder has restricted movement, then you would want to opt for physical therapy. Physical therapy is a great way to get your shoulder moving. You can hire a physical therapist, or you can search for frozen shoulder exercises online too and try them at home. Regular movement of the shoulder will warm up the arm and you will start to feel movement in the shoulder again.

Surgery

If the injury is more serious like a fibrosis or excessively torn tendons, then you would want to opt for surgery. surgical procedures are very invasive, and the healing time is also a lot, but it is the only option left when the damage becomes beyond repair. The types of surgeries you can go for include shoulder replacement surgery, tendon transfer, etc.

There you go. Along with these treatments, proper rest of the shoulder and a good diet will also make your shoulder recover quickly. Moreover, make sure you follow every advice of your orthopedic doctor McLean.

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