Torn Rotator Cuff
The most movable joint in the body, the shoulder, is also one of the most potentially unstable joints. As a result, it is the site of many common problems. They include sprains, strains, dislocations, separations, tendinitis, bursitis, torn rotator cuffs, frozen shoulder, fractures, and arthritis. Of course, the first step is to make an accurate diagnosis. Almost all of these problems can be successfully treated in the office without surgery.
The rotator cuff is a series of four tendons that together make the shoulder joint move. One of the tendons, called the supraspinatus, is commonly pinched against the roof of the shoulder socket causing it to wear down and eventually tear or rupture with minimal trauma. This leaves a gap between the tendon and the bone where it should be attached which will never heal itself. If it is a small tear, the pain and lack of full use can be greatly relieved by a simple cortisone shot. Most often, though, the tear can be successfully repaired with a minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedure.
While the surgery is minimally invasive, it does take a long time for the tendon to heal completely. A sling is required for only a week or two, followed by a few simple home exercises. Eventually, some formal outpatient physical therapy is also helpful for a full recovery.
For more information about this type of shoulder problem, please call 248-334-0524.