Otis R. Drew, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Lafayette, LA
A rotator cuff tear is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in adults. If you have ongoing pain in your shoulder, seek the expertise of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Otis Drew. He specializes in shoulder conditions, including tears of the rotator cuff. If you live in Lafayette, Louisiana, call his office or use the online booking agent for an appointment to treat and relieve your shoulder pain today.
Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A
What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons in your shoulder joint that enables movement while also providing safe stability. These tendons are vulnerable to injury from excess pressure from the scapula, which is part of your shoulder blade, as you raise your arm.
What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?
Pain in your shoulder is one indication of a rotator cuff tear or injury. Other symptoms to look for include:
- Weakness in your arm
- Crackling sensations when you move your shoulder in certain positions
- Swelling and tenderness at the front of your shoulder joint
You may also experience a reduced range of motion and stiffness in the joint.
What causes a rotator cuff tear?
Repetitive overhead movements can lead to rotator cuff injury over time. Swinging a tennis racquet, throwing a ball, and pushing weights overhead are possible causes. Occupational activities that involve reaching overhead, such as painting, also put you at risk. Trauma resulting from sports or during a motor vehicle accident can cause a tear as well.
How is a rotator cuff tear diagnosed?
Dr. Drew diagnoses a rotator cuff tear after a thorough physical examination and review of your medical history. He may order imaging tests, including MRIs and X-rays, to get a further understanding of the workings inside your shoulder joint.
What are the treatment options for a rotator cuff injury?
Conservative treatment options include rest and supporting your injured shoulder in a sling. Often you can rehab a rotator cuff and manage pain with steroid injections into the joint. Pain medications also help reduce discomfort. Physical therapy is part of a conservative treatment plan.
Dr. Drew may determine you need surgery to resolve your pain and restore function. Arthroscopy procedures increase the space for the rotator cuff tendons that are being compressed by the scapula. Dr. Drew repairs the torn tendon or tendons using suture anchors, which attach the tendons to your shoulder bone. Post surgery, physical therapy can help restore muscle strength and function.
When you have reduced a range of motion in your shoulder and weakness in your arm, it may indicate a torn rotator cuff. Call Dr. Drew or book an appointment online to take advantage of his diagnostic and treatment experience.