The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons supporting the top end of your upper arm bone like a cuff. Although these tissues are strong and durable, they are not immune to trauma and overuse injury.
Tiny tears can develop in the rotator cuff, and these can cause constant shoulder pain. Fortunately, an orthopedic surgeon can repair your torn rotator cuff using several different methods.
Do not endure and ignore shoulder pain, because the injury can become worse and develop into a permanent injury. Let’s talk about what can happen to your shoulder if a rotator cuff repair is not performed, and where you can go for an evaluation and treatment of your shoulder pain.
Effects of a Torn Rotator Cuff
A rotator cuff tear can make it difficult to lift and rotate your arm. The pain may start as mild, but the symptoms usually spread to the side of your arm. You might discover that it’s increasingly difficult to perform daily activities like getting dressed, combing your hair, or reaching for items on shelves. The pain can also make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Delaying treatment for a torn rotator cuff will increase your likelihood of developing further damage to your shoulder. When the tendons and muscles are torn and are not allowed to heal (usually due to overuse of the shoulder), they tend to fray over time. If this happens, lifting a heavy item may be all it takes to create a total tear.
Repairing a Torn Rotator Cuff
Treatment for a rotator cuff tear depends on the extent and precise location of the injury. In minor cases where a tendon or muscle is partially torn, your doctor might ask you to wear a special sling for a short period of time to keep your shoulder immobilized while it heals. The physician may also prescribe medication to decrease the pain and swelling.
If you do not respond to conservative treatments, your doctor will probably recommend surgery. For partial tears, a simple debridement can do the trick – during which the surgeon slightly trims the damaged tissue. If the injury is a total tear (or a full-thickness tear), the doctor can reattach the torn tissue back together via internal sutures.
An untreated rotator cuff tear can eventually cause weakness and disability of the shoulder. That is why it is so important to seek the expertise of an experienced orthopedic doctor for your shoulder pain.
Shoulder Specialists in Maryland
If you’re experiencing persistent shoulder pain or have suffered an acute shoulder injury, schedule an appointment with a skilled orthopedic physician here at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our medical specialists are trained to efficiently diagnose and treat a wide range of upper-extremity conditions, including rotator cuff injuries.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedists, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (410) 296-6232 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We have many locations across Maryland for your convenience. We look forward to helping you move without pain and limitation!