What Is the Rotator Cuff?
A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that form a “cuff” to keep the shoulder joint stabilized and allow for the lifting and rotating of the arms. When the rotator cuff is torn it can cause severe pain and loss of range of motion.
Rotator Cuff Tear Causes and Risk Factors
Rotator cuff injuries are typically caused by repetitive stress on the shoulder such as injuries sustained from sports like baseball, swimming, tennis, football and weightlifting. Other causes of a rotator cuff tear can include:
- Degeneration from aging
- Lifting heavy items
Symptoms of a Tear
Most common, the first noticeable symptom of a rotator cuff tear is pain that occurs due to swelling and inflammation build up in the joint. This pain may be sudden or slowly become worse. Patients often begin to notice the pain in the evening when lying down for bed. Other symptoms may be present such as:
- Weakness in the shoulder
- A noticeable loss of motion in the joint
- Noticing a cracking or popping sound upon movement
When Surgery Is Necessary
When experiencing chronic shoulder pain, or have just sustained a shoulder-related injury, you should contact Dr. Madsen for a diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis of a rotator cuff tear can help speed up recovery time and prevent loss of strength and motion, so you can get back to doing what you love.