New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
Orthopedic Surgeons located in New Braunfels, TX
If you have a rotator cuff tear, not only could you be in a lot of pain, but you might well struggle to use your arms very well. The board-certified physicians at New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine in New Braunfels, Texas, have extensive experience in treating injuries like rotator cuff tears, including performing advanced surgery to repair the rotator cuff where necessary. Schedule a consultation by calling their office today or book an appointment using the form on this website.
Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A
What is a rotator cuff tear?
A rotator cuff tear is a shoulder injury that affects around two million people across the United States every year.
The head of your humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade called the glenoid cavity. Your rotator cuff contains muscles and tendons that cover the humerus and attach it to your shoulder blade. It enables you to move your shoulder joint while holding the bones in the joint in place.
If you tear your rotator cuff, it weakens the shoulder joint. Even after you recover from the acute injury, you might still experience problems with daily activities that involve the use of your shoulder, like getting dressed.
What causes rotator cuff tears?
There are several possible causes of rotator cuff tears:
You can tear your rotator cuff by falling and putting your arm out to save yourself, or by lifting a heavy object with a jerk. You can dislocate your shoulder or break your collarbone at the same time.
When the rotator cuff tears, it’s often because the tendons are weak or worn down from years of use. Your body naturally deteriorates over time, so as you get older, you’re more likely to experience this type of rotator cuff tear.
Repetitive stress and overuse from years of repeating the same movements with your shoulder can contribute to wear-and-tear injuries. The tissue deterioration gets worse because the blood flow to your rotator cuff decreases with age as well. This makes it harder for your body to heal any damage.
Bone spurs can also develop, leading to a condition called shoulder impingement. The bone spurs rub against your rotator cuff tendon, weakening it over time.
How are rotator cuff tears treated?
The treatment you need for a rotator cuff tear can vary according to how severe your injury is, your age, and your general health. To begin with, your provider at New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine is likely to prescribe conservative treatment of your rotator cuff tear.
Conservative treatment options include:
- Wearing a sling
- Activity modification
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- Strengthening exercises
- Physical therapy
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma)
- Steroid injections
An injection of corticosteroid medication and an anesthetic into your shoulder can be effective if noninvasive treatments aren’t working.
Would I need surgery for a rotator cuff tear?
If your rotator cuff tear still isn’t getting better or it’s causing you a lot of pain, you might benefit from surgery. In most cases, the New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine team can perform rotator cuff tear surgery using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques.
If you have a complete rotator cuff tear, your surgeon needs to repair it by sewing the tendon back onto your humerus. If your rotator cuff tear is partial, with some of the tendon still attached to the bone, it might just need debridement (trimming).
Call New Braunfels Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine today to schedule an assessment of your rotator cuff tear or book an appointment online.
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