Rotator Cuff Injury: A Common Condition That Affects Many People
A rotator cuff injury is a common condition that affects many people. The injury usually develops over time and may result from normal wear and tear. It can also develop if you are in the habit of repeating the same type of arm motion again and again. However, in some cases a rotator cuff injury may also happen when you are trying to lift something heavy or fall suddenly on your arm. The rotator cuff can be described as a cluster of four tendons and muscles that helps to stabilize your shoulder joint so that you can lift your arms easily and rotate them.
In general, rotator cuff tears come in two different types. There can be a partial tear where the tendon protecting the top of the shoulder is injured or frayed. Another type of rotator cuff tear is the complete tear, which is said to have occurred when the tear rips through the tendons or pulls tendons right off the bone.
Rotator Cuff Symptoms:
The main symptom of a rotator cuff tear is serious mind-numbing pain. However, there may also be instances where you can hardly feel anything in your torn rotator cuff. Here are some of the other symptoms that you may experience.
- Have weakness and soreness in your shoulder
- Have serious trouble raising the affected arm
- Be completely unable to lift objects like you usually do
- Hear a popping or clicking sound when you try to move your arm
- Feel pain while trying to move your affected arm in specific ways or when you try to lie on it
Rotator Cuff Diagnosis:
In order to make sure that you have a rotator cuff tear, your doctor is going to start by checking the history of the injury. He will also perform a physical examination and evaluation of the shoulder. While carrying out the exam, the doctor will check your muscle strength and range of motion. He will also observe what movements tend to make your shoulder experience pain. Additionally, the doctor may also prescribe certain imaging tests like MRI scans, X-rays and ultrasound. These tests can deliver an accurate picture of the torn rotator cuff and make it easier for the doctor to carry out medical tests.
Rotator Cuff Treatment:
In order to treat the torn rotator cuff, the shoulder doctor is going to recommend some physical therapy at the initial stages that can help in enhancing the strength of the shoulder. Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen can also be used for reducing swelling and pain. In some cases, the doctor might recommend surgery for fast relief. There are three main types of surgery for a torn rotator cuff, namely arthroscopic, open and mini-open surgeries. The prognosis is good with surgery, although it may take four to six weeks before you can get back to normal life.