Rotator Cuff Injury: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 23. April 2016 10:56

Rotator Cuff refers to a group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder joint which join the shoulder blade to the upper part of the arm (humerus). It not only stabilizes the shoulder joint but also enables it to move. There are four main muscles in the rotator cuff and injury to any one of them may further lead to development of Arthritis as well accumulation of fluids in the shoulder joint over time.

There are different types of injuries that may affect the rotator cuff:

  • Rotator Cuff Impingement: The rotator cuff tendons get compressed between the humerus and the acromion.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear: It refers to a tear in the tendon. The injury may range from mild stretching of the tendon to a complete tear.
  • Frozen Shoulder: The upper part of the arm, called the humerus, gets fixed into the shoulder blade making movement difficult and painful.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Overuse and repetitive motions such as lifting the arms above the shoulders may lead to strains in the muscles and tendons.

Causes

  • Wear and tear due to the aging
  • Overuse injuries
  • Falling on the shoulder
  • Automobile accident
  • Repeated activities such as throwing a ball or lifting weights
  • Bone spurs
  • Disruption of blood supply to the rotator cuff muscles

Symptoms

  • Pain in the shoulder and the arm, particularly during overhead movements
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Weakness in the shoulder or arm
  • Swelling

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination of the joint
  • MRI scan may be an effective method to assess any soft tissue damage
  • X-ray may be done to check for bone displacement, fracture or bone spurs
  • Ultrasound
  • Arthrogram: Injecting a dye in the joint to get a better image during an X-ray
  • Painful Arc Test: The injured arm may be moved away from the body to check for pain

Treatment

  • Application of ice packs to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Rest the injured arm and shoulder
  • Prescription of muscle relaxants, pain killers and anti inflammatory drugs
  • Heat therapy may also be used
  • Injecting corticosteroids directly into the shoulder
  • Specific exercises may help to improve joint flexibility and strength
  • Arthroscopic surgery may be performed to repair the torn tendons and remove bone spurs
  • Joint replacement surgery may be required in case of severe injuries. It may help to relieve pain and restore complete stability and movement in the shoulder joint. Prosthesis or an artificial part is used to replace the damaged part within the joint.

For treatment of Rotator Cuff Injury and other shoulder injuries, visit Dr. Kouyoumjian in Plano, TX. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072.

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