About Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff is a collection of tendons around the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint) that allows for stabilizing the shoulder and range of motion. The tendons that make up the rotator cuff include the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor. Tendons are the insertions of muscle on to bone. As such, this set of tendons allows the extensive movement of the shoulder joint, especially lifting or outstretching the arm above your head. A rotator cuff tear is a common tendon injury that causes intense shoulder pain and limits shoulder and arm mobility.
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Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears
There are many different factors that can contribute to torn or injured tendons in the rotator cuff. Anyone at any age can suffer a rotator cuff tear from an injury. The most common causes include trauma, falling on an outstretched arm, or chronic degeneration. Repetitive use can also damage the tendons and cause shoulder pain and dysfunction. Another contributing factor is aging, as tendons are susceptible to degenerative issues that weaken the tendons as we get older.
Rotator cuff tears or injuries can cause pain and limit mobility of the shoulder joint. Some common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include:
- Recurring shoulder pain, especially when lifting the arm
- Weakness in the shoulder
- Limited mobility in your arm
- Pain in the shoulder when sleeping on that side
- Crackling or grinding sounds when using the shoulder
Treatments of Rotator Cuff Tears
Some mild rotator cuff injuries can heal with rest, followed by strengthening exercises and physical therapy. Pain for mild conditions can be managed with NSAIDs and heat/cold therapy. For non-healing partial tears or non-retracted complete rotator cuff tears other techniques may be required. At Ospina Medical, we offer accurate diagnosis of shoulder injuries and advanced rotator cuff tear treatments. Treatments for relieving and pain and inflammation include cortisone or steroid injections. These injections are performed with ultrasound and/or x-ray guidance to ensure accurate placement of medications around the painful tendons or within the shoulder joint. Extra care is taken to ensure that no steroids are injected within the tendon as this can lead to tendon weakness and in severe cases tendon rupture.
For those looking for more robust treatment options, Ospina Medical is proud to offer Regenexx regenerative medicine treatments for rotator cuff tears. By utilizing platelet-rich plasma (PRP), platelet lysate, and bone marrow concentrate containing stem cells, our Regenexx providers are able to heal damaged tendons, ligaments, and slow the progression of shoulder osteoarthritis. By utilizing these treatments, our patients are able to forego surgery, improve their pain, and return to their normal quality of life. While Regenexx treatments are a great option for most individuals with rotator cuff tears, not all patients may be considered good candidates.
If you are interested to learn more about Regenexx and whether you qualify for treatment, please reach out to Ospina Medical, located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City to speak with one of our Regenexx providers today.