Rotator Cuff Injury And Treatment Options

by Administrator 25. April 2016 11:57

The rotator cuff comprises of four muscles - supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor as well as various tendons that surround the shoulder joint. It helps in stabilizing the shoulder joint and aids in its movement. An injury to the rotator cuff can severely hamper the movement of the shoulder and arm.

A rotator cuff injury can be classified as:

  • Acute Rotator Cuff Tear: This type of injury may occur during heavy lifting or falling on the shoulder.
  • Chronic Tear: People involved in sports that require repeated overhead movements generally suffer this type of Rotator Cuff Injury. Other reasons may include chronic shoulder injuries or bone spurs etc.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis: The muscles and tendons wear out with age causing the rotator cuff to function improperly. The degeneration generally occurs where the tendon attaches to the bone. Lack of blood supply and frequent tears cause more problems in the rotator cuff movement.


  • Dull pain in the shoulder that can aggravate with movement
  • A sudden tearing sensation
  • Decreased range of motion and gradual weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Loss of muscle strength


The shoulder doctor may conduct a thorough physical examination to check for deformities and alterations in the appearance of the shoulder. He may also assess the range of motion of the shoulder and recommend certain imaging tests such as X-Rays, MRI or Ultrasonography. The following treatment options may be utilized:

  • Ice packs: Application of ice packs may be beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Sling: A sling can provide support to the shoulder and restrict its movement to prevent further damage to the rotator cuff.
  • Medication: Anti-inflammatory medications may also relieve the pain and swelling.
  • Injections: Steroid injections may be administered in the shoulder joint in case of severe pain.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can prove to be useful in regaining the shoulder strength after a rotator cuff injury.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention may be required if conservative treatment methods fail to provide any relief. The surgical procedures may include:
  1. Arthroscopic tendon repair: A tiny camera or arthroscope is inserted to repair the damaged tendon.
  2. Open tendon repair: A large incision is made to reattach the damaged tendon to the bone.
  3. Shoulder replacement: In instances of severe rotator cuff injuries, shoulder replacement may be recommended by the doctor.

For treatment of Rotator Cuff Injury and other shoulder conditions, visit Dr. Kulwicki. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctor in Flower Mound, TX, call at (972) 899 – 4679.

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Tips To Prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries

by Administrator 19. June 2015 05:05

Rotator Cuff is an assembly of four muscles that support the arm. It attaches the arm bone to the shoulder blade and help in the smooth movement of the arm. Application of force due to any reason like sudden jerks, falls, hits etc. can cause an injury or even a tear in the Rotator Cuff. This can lead to severe pain in the shoulder and difficulty in moving the joint. There are a certain measures that one may take in order to prevent Rotator Cuff injuries. These are as follows:

  • Daily exercises: Exercises that can strengthen the muscles in the shoulder and help in increasing flexibility can help in the prevention of problems related to Rotator Cuff. These injuries can occur due to the application of a sudden force on the muscles of joint but exercising helps in building strength and increasing the ability of the muscles to absorb shocks and traumas.
  • Proper posture: Improper posture while standing, sleeping or sitting can overstrain the muscles and tendons of the shoulder joint. It can also make a person vulnerable to falls, hits or slips leading to sprains or overuse of the muscles. Maintaining proper posture can help in relaxing the Rotator Cuff and preventing any injury to it.
  • Avoiding stressful activities: Activities that may stress the joint, like lifting heavy things, trying to catch falling objects, lifting objects above the head etc. can cause stress and injury to the muscles due to sudden jerks or over use. This can lead to an injury or a tear to the Rotator Cuff.
  • Sports activities: Sports activities like basketball, volley ball and tennis need recurrent overhead movements of the arm. These can overstrain the muscles of the shoulder and sometimes lead to Rotator Cuff Injuries. Also, sports activities like football and rugby which include forceful movements, can lead to slips and falls on the shoulder. These falls may create a deep trauma to the muscles of the shoulder which may lead to problems like Rotator Cuff Tears.
  • Physical therapy: Certain physical therapy exercises can help in building muscle strength in the shoulder and keeping it fit. Attending physical therapy sessions regularly can help in building the strength of the muscles and the Rotator Cuff which can make it immune to many kinds of injuries.

These measures can be helpful in the prevention of a rotator cuff injury. In case of such injuries you must consult an experienced orthopedic doctor. He may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and heat/ice treatments to minimize pain and swelling. However, in severe cases surgery can also be recommended.

For more tips, visit Dr. Kulwicki at OrthoTexas, Flower Mound. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, call at (972) 899 – 4679.

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Risk Factors For Rotator Cuff Injuries

by Administrator 21. May 2015 08:02

The Rotator Cuff is an assembly of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of the upper arm bone in place. Any kind of sudden jerk or overuse of these muscles can cause the Rotator Cuff to tear which can lead to a dull ache and also reduce range of motion of the affected joint. It can also cause weakness and stiffness in the arm and shoulder. Loss in the movement of the arm may also be experienced in case of this injury, accompanied by pain extending from the shoulder to the elbow. Clicking sound, while trying to raise the arm is another symptom of a Rotator Cuff injury.

The risk factors for Rotator Cuff injury include.

  • Age: The risk of the injury increases with aging because of degeneration of the muscles. This is also due to the wear and tear process of the muscles that goes on with aging. People above the age group of 40 are more susceptible to these injuries.
  • Body mass index: People with higher body mass are more likely to have this injury. This is because more body mass puts more pressure on the muscles to move. People particularly from the age 50 to 70 years are vulnerable to this injury.
  • Certain sports: Athletes that take part in sports activities that need repetitive overhead movements of the shoulder and arms are more susceptible to this injury. Getting involved in activities like swimming, tennis, baseball which require rapid overhead movements of the shoulder can increase your risk to suffer from Rotator Cuff injuries.
  • Construction jobs: Repetitive arm movements can overstrain the muscles and can lead to the development of Rotator Cuff injury over time. Jobs like Carpenter, painter, or other construction jobs that include repetitive overhead movement of the shoulder can cause this injury.
  • Traumatic injuries: Severe injuries which are caused due to sudden jerks, abrupt falling, forceful pressures or overstraining of the shoulder muscles can lead to this injury.
  • Recurrent lifting: Recurrent heavy lifting can overstrain the muscles, create tension between the tendons and expose people to Rotator Cuff injury.
  • Family history: Genetic factors have a significant role, not only in the development but also in the progressive thickness of Rotator Cuff tears. If a person has a family history of Rotator Cuff problems, She is more at risk to have this injury.

Many people can recover from Rotator Cuff injuries with the help of physical therapy exercises that help in improving the strength and flexibility of muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.

Dr. Kulwicki provides diagnosis and treatment for Rotator Cuff injuries and other conditions of the shoulder. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (972) 899 – 4679 or visit 4951 Long Praire Road Suite 100, Flower Mound, Texas 75028.

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