Your shoulder is a complex joint that’s capable of both strength and range of motion. It’s an intricate system of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, but it also leaves you vulnerable to injury, including rotator cuff tears, one of the more common shoulder injuries.
The Orthopedic Center of Arlington specializes in the treatment of rotator cuff tears, an ailment seen frequently at their sports medicine practice. Dr. Bruce Prager and the team can help you determine the extent of the injury as well as the best way forward through treatment. If you require surgery, Dr. Prager is an arthroscopic specialist, offering minimally invasive procedures that help you heal quickly.
Tearing the rotator cuff
The rotator cuff comprises muscles and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint, holding the bones of your arm and shoulder socket together. The shoulder joint has the widest range of motion in your body, and each part plays an important role.
The muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff are prone to tear, causing pain and disability. You could suffer a tear if you have any of these predisposing factors:
- You perform heavy work or engage in strenuous physical activity involving the arms
- You’re suffering from a degenerative condition like arthritis
- You perform sports or other tasks that involve repetitive motion
Rotator cuff tears often present as a dull, aching feeling that gets worse when your arm is fully extended. Left untreated, further damage could occur, causing additional pain and weakness for the affected arm.
Options for treatment
You have options when it comes to the treatment of rotator cuff injuries. Surgery isn’t always necessary, particularly if you seek treatment early. Orthopedic Center of Arlington covers all the bases before recommending surgery. Treatment typically moves from conservative steps and advances only when these aren’t successful. A normal progression of therapies includes:
- Rest, including changes to your daily activities or tasks that involve repeated motion
- Physical therapy to develop strength in complementary muscles
- Medications, including over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections developed from your own blood to accelerate healing and new tissue growth
- Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery that minimizes damage to tissue surrounding your injury, when compared with conventional surgical techniques
Although some aches and pains are a temporary part of life, don’t ignore persistent shoulder pain, particularly if you have one or more of the risk factors for rotator cuff tears. Contact the Orthopedic Center of Arlington by phone or online to arrange your examination and consultation. Dr. Prager and his team serve the Dallas and Fort Worth area from their Arlington practice. Schedule your appointment today.