Shoulder Specialty


Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist in Columbia, SC

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

The human shoulder, a sophisticated ball-and-socket joint, is integral to various movements.

The rotator cuff plays a crucial role in shoulder functionality. It facilitates lifting and arm movement, ensuring the upper arm bone (humerus) remains securely within the shoulder blade’s socket.

What Causes a Rotator Cuff Tear?

A rotator cuff tear is a common injury where one or more tendons detach wholly or partially from the arm bone. Initial signs often include tendon fraying, escalating to complete tears, particularly during heavy lifting. Common causes include wear and tear of the rotator cuff from repetitive motions like athletes or laborers experience and or an accident that puts stress on the shoulder joint, causing a tear.

Diagnosing a rotator cuff tear usually involves a combination of a physical examination, patient history, and imaging tests. The doctor will examine your shoulder, checking for tenderness, swelling, and range of motion.

They may perform specific physical tests to assess the strength of the rotator cuff muscles and the condition of other structures in the shoulder. The exact diagnostic approach can vary depending on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and the healthcare provider’s clinical judgment. Treatment recommendations will be based on the findings from these diagnostic steps.

Rotator Cuff Tear

At Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, our team of physicians and physical therapists are dedicated to finding the best treatment plan for you and your shoulder condition.

Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment

Expert Care for Rotator Cuff Tears at Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery

Our team, including specialized physicians and physical therapists, is committed to delivering tailored treatment plans for various shoulder conditions, including rotator cuff tears. Diagnosing a rotator cuff tear usually involves a combination of a physical examination, patient history, and imaging tests.

What Are The Symptoms of A Rotator Cuff Tear?

Immediate pain and arm weakness typically follow tears from accidents. Progressive tears might initially cause mild discomfort, manageable with over-the-counter pain relief. Over time, pain intensifies, and most patients experience varying degrees of arm and shoulder weakness, with some also enduring shoulder pain.

Key indicators of a torn rotator cuff include:

  • Difficulty and discomfort in raising the arm
  • Audible popping or clicking during arm movement
  • Nighttime or resting shoulder pain
  • Challenges in lifting objects

Innovative Treatment Approaches for Rotator Cuff Tears

While rotator cuff tears don’t naturally heal, many improve mobility and reduce pain without surgery, mainly by strengthening shoulder muscles. Partial tears often improve over time, potentially taking up to a year for full recovery.

Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Arm slings for rest and recovery
  • Pain and swelling reduction through medications like ibuprofen
  • Targeted physical therapy for strength and flexibility
  • Steroid injections for temporary relief

Surgical intervention might be necessary for complete tears or when non-surgical methods prove ineffective. Techniques like arthroscopic surgery involve minimal incisions and a recovery period that could extend over a year. Alternative procedures like reverse shoulder replacement, tendon transfer, or scar tissue removal might be suggested in cases of irreparable tears.

Seek Professional Rotator Cuff Tear Care in South Carolina

Experiencing a rotator cuff tear or suspecting one? Our experts are here to help. To schedule an assessment, call 803-256-4107 or click below for more information. We serve patients from Columbia, SC, Irmo, SC, Lexington, SC, and surrounding areas.