What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?
The rotator cuff tendons stabilize the shoulder and help it move. A rotator cuff tear occurs when one or more of the rotator cuff tendons are torn. Tendon tears can be partial or complete. They are grouped into nondegenerative and degenerative categories. Sports injuries, traumatic accidents, and falls cause nongenerative rotator cuff tears. Osteoarthritis causes degenerative rotator cuff tears. Symptoms of tears include:
- Decreased range of motion/inability to move the arm
Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIOCJ) specialists perform a medical history review and physical examination as the first part of the rotator cuff tear diagnostic process. An MRI is ordered to determine the location and severity of the tear. Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible and then treat their underlying cause.
How is a Rotator Cuff Tear Treated?
Nonsurgical treatment options may be used to treat some rotator cuff tears. An OIOCJ specialist’s nonsurgical treatment plan includes:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications decrease inflammation and pain.
- Rest, ice, and immobilization decrease pain and inflammation and give the torn tendons time to heal.
- Physical therapy improves strength, flexibility, and function.
- Activity modification prevents future injuries.
Many complete rotator cuff tendon tears require surgical intervention. Board-certified OIOCJ specialists perform minimally invasive arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs. During the procedure, a television monitor, arthroscopic camera, and tiny instruments are used to visualize the tear. Suture anchors are used to