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Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff injury can have a profound impact on your daily life. AHN can help determine the extent of your injury and provide treatments to get you back to life as usual. 

Overview

Your rotator cuff isn’t one specific part of your body. Rather, it’s a group of muscles and tendons that work together to support your shoulder and its movements. Rotator cuff injuries usually lead to a dull ache in your shoulder. This pain is often worse when your arm is held away from your body, which puts the most stress on the joint.   

Symptoms of rotator cuff injuries

The most obvious symptom of a rotator cuff injury is pain, which is usually described as a deep, dull ache in the shoulder. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Overall weakness in the arm.
  • Difficulty doing daily activities like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.
  • Trouble sleeping due to pain. 

Causes

Sometimes you may know exactly what caused your shoulder pain. This is usually an abrupt injury — perhaps from a car accident or while playing a sport. But other times, rotator cuff injuries result from wear and tear over time. Some repetitive actions, such as lifting things overhead at work, may irritate and eventually damage your tendons. Age is often a factor in these kinds of injuries. 

Treating the injury

The AHN Orthopaedic Institute offers a wide variety of
treatment options, depending on your symptoms and whether the tendons in your
shoulder are irritated or torn. These can include:

  • Oral medication: Anti-inflammatory medications like
    acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with pain and swelling.
  • Injections: A local anesthetic, typically cortisone, can be given through an injection to control pain.
  • Physical therapy: This involves exercises designed to strengthen muscles around the shoulder and improve flexibility.
  • Surgery: A procedure that repairs torn tissues in the shoulder. Learn more about the rotator cuff procedure and the recovery process

Possible complications

Left untreated, rotator cuff injuries may result in permanent arm weakness or a loss of motion. If you’re experiencing any weakness or a reduced range of motion, you should contact your doctor.

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about AHN Orthopaedic services.