Your shoulder joint contains bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These connect your upper arm to your shoulder blade and collarbone, allowing your shoulder to fully rotate. You need a complex system for the typical range of motion of a shoulder joint — but that leaves your shoulder vulnerable to injuries, including rotator cuff tears.
At LA Orthopaedic Specialists, our team of experts offers treatment to new and existing patients from our cutting-edge orthopedic surgery practice in downtown Los Angeles. If you have a rotator cuff tear, here's what you need to know about the injury and your treatment options.
What is a rotator cuff tear?
Your rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint, holding your arm bone and shoulder socket together. Your shoulder joint has the largest range of motion of any joint in your body, so each part plays an essential role.
One or more of the muscles or tendons in your rotator cuff can tear, causing pain and dysfunction. Several factors can predispose you to rotator cuff tears:
- Heavy work, physical activity, and trauma can cause rotator cuff tears
- Increasingly as you age, you can experience damage to your rotator cuff, including due to arthritis
- If you put repeated strain on your shoulder, through sports or other heavy labor, your rotator cuff is more vulnerable to tearing
A rotator cuff tear typically causes a dull aching feeling in your shoulder, often worsening when your arm is fully extended. If left untreated, rotator cuff tears can worsen, causing pain and weakness in the affected area. You could continue to lose function in your arm.
Treatment options to relieve shoulder pain
You may be relieved to learn that you have plenty of treatment options when it comes to a torn rotator cuff. The experts at LA Orthopaedic Specialists may recommend treatments including:
- Rest or changes to your daily activities or routine
- Physical therapy
- Medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Minimally invasive platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections around the affected area to accelerate healing and new tissue growth
- Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, designed to minimize damage to your tissues and reduce post-op recovery time
If your shoulder aches and you suspect a potential rotator cuff tear, don't delay treatment until the damage to your joint has worsened. Get in touch with the experts at LA Orthopaedic Specialists today. We have extensive experience with diagnosis and treatment of rotator cuff tears.
You can schedule your consultation with our care team by calling our Los Angeles office at 213-455-8448, or book with our online appointment tool.