Rotator Cuff Tears in Yuma, Arizona

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that connects the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade, as well as holds the ball of the shoulder joint in place. The rotator cuff is a critical component of the shoulder joint, allowing the joint to move in a circular motion, as well as helps maintain stability and control during movement.

Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries

Common rotator cuff injury causes include:

  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Tearing

Tendinitis is an overuse injury that causes inflammation in the joint muscles and tendons. Bursititis is a condition that causes inflammation in the bursa (a fluid filled sac in the shoulder joint) and tendons. Tearing of the rotator cuff is often the result of untreated chronic tendinitis; however, it can also occur after a traumatic accident involving the shoulder, such as falling on the arm.

Rotator cuff tears are classified as either partial or full. Partial tears will typically heal on their own with a combination of rest and physical therapy. Damage to the rotator cuff will often result in:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Decrease in range of motion

For patients suffering from partial tears, the severity of symptoms will often vary by activity level. Specific movements, such as reaching upwards or bending the arm behind the back, will often cause sudden increases in pain symptoms. Putting pressure on the joint by lying on the affected shoulder will often result in severe pain as well. Patients suffering from full tears often suffer from increasing muscle weakness and continuous pain during all activities.

Rotator Cuff Treatment Options

At the first signs of shoulder pain, it is important to cease activity and rest in order to prevent additional damage. To reduce any immediate pain and/or inflammation, take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, and apply cold packs to the affected shoulder. For patients experiencing constant pain symptoms and/or increasing arm weakness, Dr. Henderson will often recommend surgery to repair the torn tendons. To repair the damaged areas, Dr. Henderson will often use arthroscopic techniques. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure in which a microfiber camera is used to see within the interior of the joint and specialized tools are used to repair any damage.

More information on different minimally invasive surgical techniques, including arthroscopy »

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Patients who suffer from rotator cuff tears in addition to severe arthritis may achieve greater results from a reverse shoulder replacement. Reverse shoulder replacement surgery involves removing and replacing the shoulder joint with a prosthesis. This procedure allows the surrounding healthy muscles and tendons to support the joint in place of the damaged rotator cuff.

Rotator Cuff Tears in Yuma, Arizona

Rodney D. Henderson, MD., P.C., is a board certified surgeon specializing in the treatment of acute and chronic shoulder pain, as well as minimally invasive and computer-assisted surgery. Dr. Henderson provides state of the art care to patients in the Arizona, Nevada, and California areas, including, San Diego, Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson. To learn more about rotator cuff injuries and treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Henderson at his office.