Rotator Cuff Tear


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The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and their tendons that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles work together to stabilize the shoulder joint and facilitate various movements of the arm. A rotator cuff tear refers to a tear or injury in one or more of the tendons that make up the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. Rotator cuff tears can be classified as partial-thickness tears (involving only a portion of the tendon) or full-thickness tears (extending through the entire thickness of the tendon).

Rotator Cuff Tear ? Causes Symptoms & Treatment

Causes & Symptoms

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Rotator cuff tears can be caused by various factors, including acute injuries or degenerative changes over time. Here are some common causes of rotator cuff tears:

  • Traumatic injury - A sudden, forceful impact or a fall on an outstretched arm can result in a rotator cuff tear.
  • Repeated overhead motions or activities that involve excessive or prolonged use of the shoulder joint can lead to overuse and wear and tear on the rotator cuff tendons.
  • Age-related degeneration makes the rotator cuff degenerate and become weaker and less flexible.
  • Poor posture and improper movement mechanics can put excessive stress on the rotator cuff tendons
  • Impingement syndrome occurs when the rotator cuff tendons rub or get pinched between the acromion (part of the shoulder blade) and the humeral head (upper arm bone).
  • Muscle imbalances around the shoulder can affect the stability of the joint and contribute to rotator cuff tears.
  • Poor blood supply to the tendons of the rotator cuff can impede the healing process and make the tendons more susceptible to injury and slower to repair.

Get medical help right away, the signs to look for are

  • Shoulder pain
  • Weakness in the shoulder and arm
  • Limited range of motion of the shoulder
  • Clicking or popping sensation within the shoulder joint during movement.
  • Rotator cuff tear pain often worsens at night, particularly when lying on the affected shoulder


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Conservative treatment can be suggested like rest, activity modification, physical therapy exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve range of motion, pain medication, and corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.

Surgical intervention- Many different types of surgeries are available for rotator cuff injuries, including:

  • Arthroscopic tendon repair: In this procedure, a tiny camera (arthroscope) and tools are inserted through small incisions to reattach the torn tendon to the bone.
  • Open tendon repair: In these types of surgeries, a larger incision is made to reattach the damaged tendon to the bone.
  • Tendon transfer: If the torn tendon is too damaged to be reattached to the arm bone, a nearby tendon is used as a replacement.
  • Shoulder replacement: Massive rotator cuff injuries may require shoulder replacement surgery. To improve the artificial joint's stability, reverse shoulder arthroplasty installs the ball part of the artificial joint onto the shoulder blade and the socket part onto the arm bone.