Rotator Cuff Tears
This issue is close to my heart because as I wrote in the first post, I have a “small full thickness tear of the Supraspinatus” (I just quoted my ultrasound results). The tear is only 6.7 mm but it’s still very painful. I wanted to know more details about my rotator cuff injury, so I gathered all the information I read about rotator cuff tear and I decided to write here briefly what is a rotator cuff tear and how it can be treated.
Rotator Cuff Tear Background
A Tear of a rotator cuff tendon of the shoulder is the most common tendon tear in the body. Most rotator cuff tears occur in the Supraspinatus muscle, but other parts of the rotator cuff may be involved.
A rotator cuff tear can be partial or complete and can occur as a result of a trauma such as falling on the arm (acute pain) , and it can occur as a result of the tear and wear through the years (chronic pain).
Rotator Cuff Tear Symptoms
- Severe pain when lifting the arm
- Weakness in the shoulder
- Difficulty in sleeping on the injured shoulder
- Cracking sensation when moving the shoulder
- Pain which radiates down the front of the shoulder or into the neck
Rotator Cuff Tear Diagnosis
- Examination of the range of motion of the shoulder
- Examinations of the instability of the shoulder joint
- X-ray for the shoulder (less clear to diagnose a soft tissue problem)
- Ultrasound or MRI as an addition to the x-ray
Rotator Cuff Tear Treatments
The treatment is determined by the size of the tear, the patient’s age, functional limitations and pain.
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain
- Exercises for rotator cuff strengthening
- Steroid injunctions
- Using a sling
- In some cases the doctor will decide a surgery is necessary