Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine Specialists located in Benton, Cabot, Hot Springs Village, Little Rock, North Little Rock, & White Hall, AR
Each year, more than three million Americans experience a rotator cuff tear. Though common, without early intervention and treatment, this type of injury can lead to more serious issues. At Martin Orthopedics, the team of board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians provides all-inclusive care for rotator cuff tears. To make an appointment at the office in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs Village, and Cabot, Arkansas, call or book online today.
Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A
What is a rotator cuff tear?
A rotator cuff tear is one of the most common sports injuries. It occurs when your rotator cuff –– a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize your shoulder joint –– experiences damage as a result of trauma.
Rotator cuff tears fall into two categories:
Partial rotator cuff tear
A partial rotator cuff tear occurs when only one of your rotator cuff muscles is torn or frayed.
Complete rotator cuff tear
A complete rotator cuff tear occurs when an injury splits your affected muscle into several pieces, pulling the tendon off of the bone.
What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include:
- Difficulty raising your arm
- Pain when you move your arm in certain ways
- Discomfort when you lie on your shoulder
- Shoulder weakness
- An inability to lift objects
If you have a rotator cuff tear, you might also hear popping or clicking sounds when you lift your affected arm.
Who is at risk of experiencing a rotator cuff tear?
Anyone can experience a rotator cuff tear, but several factors may increase your risk. For example, you’re more likely to suffer a rotator cuff tear if you work a physically demanding job that requires you to regularly lift your arms above your head.
Other factors that increase your risk include your age, family history, and the type of exercise you enjoy. People who play baseball or tennis are particularly susceptible to rotator cuff injuries.
How is a rotator cuff tear diagnosed?
To diagnose a rotator cuff tear, your Martin Orthopedics provider physically examines your shoulder and tests its strength and range of motion. They also have you move your shoulder in different directions to see what triggers your symptoms.
Next, your provider orders diagnostic imaging like X-rays, an MRI, or an ultrasound. These procedures use cutting-edge technology to capture detailed images of your hard and soft tissues. Your provider might also recommend arthroscopy, a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that can examine your shoulder joint in greater detail.
How is a rotator cuff tear treated?
Treatment of a rotator cuff tear depends on the severity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, the team at Martin Orthopedics recommends conservative treatments:
- Physical therapy
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- At-home stretches and strengthening exercises
- Steroid injections
- Regenerative medicine like platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
If your pain persists or gets worse, your provider might recommend surgical intervention. The team at Martin Orthopedics performs arthroscopic surgery, as well as traditional orthopedic surgery for shoulder problems.
To receive treatment for a rotator cuff tear, make an appointment at Martin Orthopedics by calling the nearest office today or scheduling online.
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