Rotator Cuff Injuries | Tears & Treatment | Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia | MedStar Health

Rotator cuff tear

Hand and shoulder stretches

A variety of conditions and injuries can damage the rotator cuff, cause shoulder pain, and make it difficult for you to move your arm. Rotator cuff injuries and tears occur in a spectrum that ranges from tendonitis to shoulder dislocation to partial tears to full tears. Full rotator cuff tears are most often the result of repetitive lifting or overhead activities using the arm.

However, rotator cuff tears and shoulder instability can occur without a specific injury as we age. Conservative, non-surgical treatment is successful in the majority of rotator cuff injuries, including physical therapy. When conservative measures are not successful, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to treat and repair the cuff tear, thus leading to a comfortable, strong shoulder.

Rotator cuff tear with shoulder arthritis

Often, you can experience shoulder arthritis with rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff is the group of muscles that hold your shoulder in place and allow you to move your arm in different directions. If you suffer from both conditions at the same time, a reverse total shoulder replacement may provide the most relief.

Failed previous rotator cuff surgery

Rotator cuff repair is performed commonly to address pain and shoulder dysfunction after prior rotator cuff injuries or tears. Recurrent or persistent tears are common after rotator cuff repair. The causes of failed rotator cuff surgery include biologic factors, technical errors, and traumatic failure. A thorough history, physical examination, and appropriate imaging are required to determine if a patient is an appropriate candidate for revision rotator cuff repair or if a different type of intervention, such as a total joint replacement would be more beneficial.

When Severe Rotator Cuff Tears Lead to Reverse Shoulder Replacement

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