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If you have experienced a rotator cuff injury, you will understand that it is vital to have rotator cuff injury treatment so you can resume a normal daily lifestyle. A rotator cuff may be torn due to falling down with an outstretched arm, or lifting something that may be too heavy, causing a jerking motion. These types of tears are called acute tears.
More common tears are called degenerative tears. These are caused by the wearing down of a tendon that may occur slowly over time. As we age, degeneration naturally occurs, and may often occur in the dominant arm.
How To Know If Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment Is Right For You
First of all, you must confirm your injury with an orthopedic doctor. The doctor may assess your physical activities and occupation. For those who are athletes, painters and carpenters (to mention a few) have a higher risk of suffering from a rotator cuff injury due to the repetitive motions in their shoulder.
Rotator cuff injuries normally include symptoms of:
- Pain when lifting and lowering your arm
- Pain when resting at night, specifically when laying on the shoulder that is bothering you
- A crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in specific positions
- Weakness when you lift or rotate your arm
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and have you move your arm in several positions to test your arm strength. Your doctor may also test for other problems in your shoulder joint such as arthritis or a pinched nerve.
For further shoulder details you may be referred for x-rays or an MRI.
Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment
Generally an orthopedic doctor will always go the route of non-surgical as long as it’s a viable option. Shoulder function is improved with nonsurgical intervention in about 50% of patients. Some nonsurgical recommendations may include:
- Resting your shoulder and refraining from physical activity
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen
- Using physical therapy and shoulder strengthening exercises for stretching as well as muscle tone
- Steroid injection to prevent swelling and pain
If these recommendations do not make a difference in the pain and mobility of your shoulder, your doctor may recommend rotator cuff injury surgery.
A general surgery option offered to most patients is arthroscopic surgery. This surgery involves a mini-camera and mini-instruments that allow the orthopedic surgeon to view the inside of the tendon or joint and make necessary corrections. This is an outpatient procedure and is much less invasive when repairing a torn rotator cuff.
The average rotator cuff recovery time is about 4-6 months, from start to finish after surgery is completed.
Whatever your complaint, our goal at Allied Bone and Joint is to put your life in motion.
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