Center For Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Surgeons & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Lubbock, TX
Pain in the muscles and tendons of the shoulder joint could mean you have an injury to the rotator cuff. If your symptoms include a dull ache in your shoulder that worsens as you try to sleep on that side, consult the Center for Orthopedic Surgery for diagnosis and treatment. The expert orthopedic staff, including shoulder specialists Dr. J. Nathan Wilson, Dr. Mark W. Scioli, Dr. Jeff Headrick and Dr. Jason Ramsey, help residents of the Lubbock, Texas, area resolve shoulder pain. Call today for an appointment or use the online booking agent if you’re experiencing shoulder pain that doesn’t resolve on its own.
Rotator Cuff Q & A
What causes rotator cuff injuries?
The group of muscles and tendons that keep your upper arm bone firmly in your shoulder socket makes up the rotator cuff. Injury often occurs due to repeated overhead motions, whether at work or in sports. Painters, carpenters, tennis players, and baseball pitchers commonly experience rotator cuff pain. Trauma can also injure the rotator cuff.
What symptoms indicate a problem with the rotator cuff?
You should suspect a rotator cuff problem if it hurts when lifting and lowering your arm. Other symptoms include:
- Weakness in the arm, especially when lifting or rotating it
- Pain that intensifies at night, especially when you lie on the affected arm or shoulder
- Crackling or creaking sensations when you move your arm and shoulder
If your rotator cuff tear occurs over time due to overuse, your symptoms may be quite mild at first. You may control them with over-the-counter pain medications. Eventually, however, the pain and associated weakness may start to interfere with daily activities, such as combing your hair or putting away groceries.
If you experience a rotator cuff tear as a result of a fall or an accident, pain is sudden and intense. You may hear a snapping sound and feel immediate weakness in your upper arm.
How are rotator cuff injuries treated?
Early diagnosis can slow the progression of your tear. When creating a treatment plan, the doctors at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery take into account your age, general health, and activity level. Early management of your tear may include rest, modification of specific activities, physical therapy, and medications — including steroid injections.
When is surgery recommended for rotator cuff injuries?
If your pain can’t be resolved or managed with more conservative approaches, you might consider surgery. Specific indications that surgery is warranted include:
- Pain that lasts longer than six months
- A tear of at least 3 centimeters
- Significant loss of function in your shoulder
- A tear caused by trauma
If you lead an active life and use your arms frequently, surgery may also be recommended so you can continue to function normally.
If you have pain in your shoulder or arm, don’t hesitate to call or click the Center for Orthopedic Surgery.