Don’t Worry and Get Out of Joint

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Don’t Worry and Get Out of Joint — Collins is the Surgeon to Care For You
Rotator Cuff
A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder.  It is one of the most important parts of your shoulder.  Your rotator cuff allows you to lift your arms and reach upward. Each year, millions of people in the United States go to their healthcare providers because of a rotator cuff problem. A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. Collins Orthopaedics Lake Charles #1 orthopedic surgeon and is very experienced in the care of the rotator cuff and related injuries.

What causes a rotator cuff injury?
There are 2 main causes of rotator cuff tears: injury and degeneration. An injury to the rotator cuff, such as a tear, may happen suddenly when falling on an outstretched hand. It may also develop over time due to repetitive activities. Rotator cuff tears may also happen due to aging, with degeneration of the tissues.

This condition usually occurs over time. It can be the result of keeping your shoulder in one position for a while, sleeping on your shoulder every night, or participating in activities that require lifting your arm over your head.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?
The following are the most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear. However, you may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Recurrent pain, especially with certain activities
  • Pain that prevents you from sleeping on your injured side
  • Grating or cracking sounds when moving your arm
  • Limited ability to move your arm
  • Muscle weakness
The symptoms of a rotator cuff tear may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is a rotator cuff injury treated?
Collins Orthopaedics can determine the specific treatment for a rotator cuff injury, based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:

  • Rest
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Surgery (for severe injuries)
Additional treatment may include:

Physical therapy

Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. Physical therapy will initially consist of stretching and other passive exercises to help restore range of motion and ease the pain.

Once the pain is under control, your physical therapist will teach you exercises to help regain strength in your arm and shoulder.

Steroid injection

If your rotator cuff injury isn’t being managed by more conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection. This is injected into the tendon to reduce inflammation, which reduces pain.

Surgery

If nonsurgical treatment isn’t successful, your doctor may recommend surgery. Most people experience full recovery after having rotator cuff surgery.

The most noninvasive form of shoulder surgery is accomplished via arthroscopy. This involves two or three small cuts around your shoulder, through which your doctor will insert various instruments. One of these instruments will have a camera, so your surgeon can view the damaged tissue through the small incisions.

Open shoulder surgery is usually not required for the rotator cuff. However, this method may be used if there are other problems in your shoulder, such as a large tendon tear.

Surgery involves recovery that consists of rest and physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion. Most people experience full recovery after having rotator cuff surgery. Call Collins Orthopaedics at 337-508-0356 today for a complete exam and evaluation of any shoulder problems you may be experiencing. Or visit our website www.geoffcollinsmd.com. We can help you feel better.
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