The shoulder is comprised of three bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), the shoulder blade (scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). The shoulder itself is a ball-and-socket joint, which includes the “ball,” or head of the upper arm bone that fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade. This ball-and-socket joint is surrounded by a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff that works to keep the upper arm bone in place within the shoulder socket. This group is comprised of four muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis, which all come together as tendons to form a covering around the head of the humerus, attaching the upper arm to the shoulder blade and helps to lift and rotate the arm. Rotator cuff injuries occur due to injury or degeneration. Acute injury, including falling, heavy lifting or jerking motions can tear the rotator cuff. Most commonly, however, injury to the rotator cuff is a result of degeneration of the tendons that occurs slowly over time. Contributing factors to degeneration include, but are not limited to: repetitive stress, lack of blood supply and bone spurs.
When one or more of the rotator cuff tendons is torn, the tendon no longer fully attaches to the head of the humerus, causing limitations in strength and range of motion of the involved upper extremity. There can be a partial tear, in which there is damage to the soft tissues, but does not completely sever the muscle or tendon, or a full-thickness tear (complete tear), when the soft tissue splits into two pieces.
If you believe you may have a rotator cuff injury or your medical doctor has diagnosed you with this you may recognize some of the symptoms listed below:
Symptoms: – Pain at rest and at night, particularly if lying on the affected shoulder
– Pain when lifting and lowering the arm or with specific movements
– Weakness when lifting or rotating the arm
– Crepitus or crackling sensation when moving the shoulder in certain positions
While your treatment will vary depending on the severity and extent of your injury there may be different options available to you.
Many patients respond well to non-surgical treatment to relieve their pain and improve the functioning of the involved shoulder. Non-surgical treatment options may include physical therapy, rest, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injection. However, if your pain has persisted longer than 6 months, there is an extensive tear present causing loss of function or you have a very active lifestyle your medical doctor may recommend surgical intervention to repair the damage to the rotator cuff tendons. Whether you receive conservative non-surgical treatment or surgery you will likely spend some time in physical therapy to restore range of motion, strength and function of the involved shoulder.
The physical therapists at Hohman Rehab specialize in rotator cuff tears and repairs. If you plan to have surgery, it is beneficial to receive physical therapy prior to your surgery to assure you are in optimal shape. This will help to speed up the therapy process following your surgery. Ask your doctor about pre-op rehab. We treat patients with all insurances and self-pay programs in the Clermont 34711 area.