Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff injuries are one of the most common shoulder injuries. The shoulder is a ball-socket joint that allows the arm to move in many different directions. The rotator cuff consists of four different muscles that keep the shoulder stabilized and help it move. The muscles and ligaments that attach the muscles to the bone can be injured through acute injury, chronic overuse, or gradual aging. These injuries will limit the range of motion and decrease the ability to use the shoulder joint. Injuries may cause many different symptoms such as pain and spasms that limit the range of motion and prevent the joint from moving smoothly. Long term damage depends on the severity of the injury from a mild strain and inflammation to a complete tear.

Causes and Treatment of Rotator Cuffs

Causes of rotator cuff injuries can be categorized into three types–acute rotator cuff tear, chronic tear, tendinitis. Acute rotator cuff tears are often caused by sudden overhead movements against resistance, like heavy lifting or falling. People over the age of 30 years are more susceptible to this type of rotator cuff injury. A chronic tear of the rotator cuff is more common in younger people since it is often caused by sports that require excessive overhead movements, like baseball, tennis, and volleyball. Lastly, tendinitis is when the tendons and muscles degenerate over time due to poor blood supply (Rotator Cuff Injury Causes, Symptoms, Treatment – What Causes Rotator Cuff Injuries? – eMedicineHealth, n.d.).

Rotator cuff injuries are diagnosed through MRI, an imaging method to diagnose tears. Typically, X-rays will be taken to see if there are any arthritis or bone problems (Rotator Cuff Injuries, n.d.). There are nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. While half of the patients can implement nonsurgical methods to relieve pain and shoulder function, the shoulder strength can only be improved with surgery. Nonsurgical treatment methods include resting the shoulder, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, and physical therapy to restore movement and strengthen the shoulder. The surgical method is arthroscopic repair, which is minimally invasive and will produce little pain and scarring.

Getting Rotator Cuff  Symptoms Examined

Symptoms for rotator cuff injuries include weakness, restricted motion, locking, catching, and feeling of instability. These symptoms may be worse in specific positions, however some rotator cuff tears may not be painful and individuals may not experience any symptoms. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms call Dr. Ronald S. Kvitne at (310) 667-6118. As a board certified orthopedic surgeon located in Pasadena, California, he will be sure to help find the best treatment for you.

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Doctor Ronald Kvitne, MD

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6801 Park Terrace Drive Los Angeles, CA 90045
301 N Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 91101

Phone: (310) 667-6118
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