Shoulder Specialty


Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment in Columbia, SC

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

The shoulder is a joint made up of a ball and socket, like putting a golf ball on a golf tee. Rotator cuff tears happen when one or more tendons pull away from the arm bone partially or completely.

Fraying is often the first sign of a torn tendon, and as the damage gets worse, the tendon can sometimes fully tear when lifting something heavy.

What is a Rotator Cuff?

A group of muscles and tendons in your shoulder make up the rotator cuff. They make it easier to lift your arms and move them away from your body. The rotator cuff makes sure that the ball of the upper arm bone, known as the humerus, stays in the socket of the shoulder blade.

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

Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear

Tears from an accident cause shoulder pain and weakness in the arms right away. When you have progressive tears, you might feel mild pain that can be helped by over-the-counter painkillers. Pain gets worse over time, and painkillers don’t help, and most people have some level of arm and shoulder weakness, but not everyone has pain.

Some other signs of a torn rotator cuff include:

  • It is hard and painful to raise your arm
  • A popping or clicking noise is heard when moving the arm
  • Pain in the shoulder that gets worse at night or when you rest your arm
  • Shoulder pain and trouble lifting things

Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment

Tears in the rotator cuff don’t heal on their own without surgery, but many people can have better mobility and less pain without surgery by building up their shoulder muscles. Even if there is a tear, that doesn’t always mean it needs surgery.

People with partial tears can get better without surgery, but it can take up to a year for the injury to get better.

Some nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Arm sling – Your shoulder will be allowed to rest and heal with a sling. You may need to change what you do and stop doing some work or sports for a while
  • Medications – Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy To help strengthen and increase the flexibility of the shoulder
  • Steroid injections – Used to temporarily ease pain and swelling

If you have a full tear or if non-surgical methods don’t help with a partial tear, your doctor may suggest shoulder surgery. You might also need surgery if your job or sports involve your shoulder.

Most surgeries on the rotator cuff are done arthroscopically through small incisions. The whole recovery from arthroscopic surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear can take up to a year or more.

Some tears can’t be fixed because they are too large or too old. If this is the case, a reverse shoulder replacement, a tendon transfer, or removal of scar tissue may be needed instead.

Rotator Cuff Tear Care in South Carolina

If you have experienced a rotator cuff tear, or suspect one, come see one of our expert physicians to assess. Please call 803-256-4107, or click below.

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