Tag Archives: faq

Rotator Cuff Injuries FAQ

When I started the physiotherapy for me rotator cuff tear I used to enter to orthopedists forums and read what other people who suffer from rotator cuff injury ask, because I wanted to learn more about my problem. I noticed that a lot of the questions were being asked in different variations, so I collected the questions I think are the most common and the most important ones.

Q: What is the rotator cuff?

A: The term “rotator cuff” refers to a collection of four tendons that join the four shoulder muscles (Supraspinatus, Subscapularis, Infraspinatus and Teres Minor) to the upper arm. Tendons are stringy tissues that attach muscle to bone.

Q: What can cause a rotator cuff injury?

A: A Rotator cuff injury can be caused as a result of a trauma to the shoulder such as falling on the arm, and it can also be a result of wear and tear on the tendons over the years.  If you participate in a sport that needs you to constantly move your arm over your head, such as tennis, swimming or baseball, you may be more likely to eventually develop a rotator cuff injury.

Q: How a rotator cuff injury is diagnosed?

A: There are several ways to diagnose a rotator cuff injury: x-ray, MRI scan or an ultrasound. Both MRI and ultrasound can indicate on a tear much better than x-ray, and so even if the x-ray results turned out okay, it is possible that there is still a problem with the shoulder.

Q: How is a rotator cuff injury treated?

A: there are several ways to treat a rotator cuff injury: there are OTC or anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, ultrasound treatment and exercises for rotator cuff to strengthen the shoulder. In order not to cause yourself any damage consult your doctor before starting any treatment.

Q: When is it recommended to have a rotator cuff surgery?

A: A surgery is usually recommended if you have a torn tendon and non-surgical treatment didn’t help recover your shoulder. It can also be recommended if a tear in your tendon is affecting your lifestyle.

Q: Can I cause further damage if I keep using the injured rotator cuff?

A: Rotator cuff tear enlarge or get bigger over time. This can happen with cyclic use or a re-injury. It is common for patients with known rotator cuff disease to have acute pain and weakness following a minor injury. This likely represents extension of an existing tear.

Q: Can a rotator cuff tear be healed or strengthened without surgery?

A: A torn tendon cannot be cured without surgery, yet most tears can be taking care of non-surgically. The purpose of the treatment is to relieve the pain and to restore the shoulder its strength.


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