What Is a Rotator Cuff Injury?
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround and stabilize the shoulder joint, helping to keep the upper arm bone securely positioned within its socket. An injury to the rotator cuff can occur either suddenly through direct trauma, such as a fall onto an outstretched arm, or gradually due to age-related degeneration. Because the rotator cuff can also become strained or torn through overuse, these types of injuries often affect individuals who repeatedly perform overhead motions, such as pitching a baseball or swinging a tennis racquet.
What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?
A rotator cuff injury may cause a dull ache deep within the shoulder. The resulting pain may make it difficult to sleep on the affected side of the body. Usually, the discomfort worsens with certain movements, such as reaching backward or raising the arm overhead. Other symptoms may include:
- A cracking or popping sound (crepitus) when moving the affected arm
- A catching or locking sensation in the shoulder
- A reduced range of motion in the shoulder and arm
- Shoulder joint stiffness that worsens with inactivity
- Muscle weakness in the affected arm
- Swelling and tenderness at the front of the shoulder
How is a rotator cuff injury treated?
Rest, activity modifications and ice applications can be helpful for reducing mild pain. If further relief is needed, some common treatment options for a rotator cuff injury include:
- Physical therapy – Targeted stretches and exercises can increase the flexibility and strength of the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.
- An injection – If the pain is interfering with sleep or daily activities, a cortisone injection into the shoulder joint can provide temporary but lasting pain relief (because injections can potentially weaken the rotator cuff, they should be used judiciously).
- Surgery – An extensive rotator cuff tear may require surgical repairs, such as a tendon graft or joint replacement.
At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, we provide a full range of conservative and surgical treatments for rotator cuff injuries. When necessary, our board-certified and double-board-certified surgeons perform arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs as well as shoulder stabilization procedures, minimally invasive shoulder replacements, Latarjet operations and other procedures to address various conditions affecting the shoulder.
If you’d like to explore your treatment options for a rotator cuff injury with a shoulder specialist at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, contact us to schedule an appointment.
To request an appointment, please enter the information on the form on the right and press the “Continue” button to start the appointment request process.
1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
AOSM Physical Therapy
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
AOSM Physical Therapy
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
What Our Patients Are Saying
So I was going to get on here and brag about what a great surgeon Dr. Cubbage is. But Cubbage is only 3/4 of the picture. He’ll fix you, but Karen is the one that will care for you and heal you!
Dr. Mihu is the most intelligent and polite Dr I have ever visited. Her and her nurse Nicole made me feel so welcomed. I have never encountered a doctor who knew so much and asked so many important questions
When I started, I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg and now I can do virtually anything. While I hope to not need future therapy, this is without a doubt the place I will return to in the future.
This office did everything they could to get me in timely after a very bad sprain on my ankle. I saw nurse practitioner Stuart who is very thorough and x-rays and explaining everything to me.
Advanced Orthopaedics is the absolute best PT I’ve ever gone through. The significance in my hip is just part of it.
We’ve seen several of these drs. Different family members with different issues. They have been exceptional in both the operating procedures and the follow ups.
On Nov. 22, 2017, I had a spinal injection in my lower back and it was an instant miracle in my life!
Dr. Alain Elbaz is one of the most progressive orthopedic surgeons in the state. I’ve received PRP injections and hyaluronic acid injections in my aging and damaged joints allowing me to continue my daily jogging
Dr Tanous and Chris are the best! Thank you for always taking such good care of me!
For the first time in many years and many knee operations on one leg I am without any knee pain. This is a result of a procedure performed by Dr. Patel.