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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