A rotator cuff tear is a leading cause of shoulder pain, bringing nearly two million people to the doctor every year. The team at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics provides individualized treatment for rotator cuff tears at four locations in Nashville and one in Franklin, Tennessee. If you think you have a rotator cuff tear, call the office nearest you, or book an appointment online today.
Each shoulder contains a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff helps stabilize your shoulder and allows you to lift and rotate your arm.
Excess stress on the shoulder can cause one or more of these tendons to tear, which means it no longer fully attaches to the head of your upper arm bone. A rotator cuff tear can be partial or complete.
A rotator cuff tear can happen suddenly, or it may develop slowly over time. Sudden (acute) rotator cuff tears may result from trauma, like a car accident or a fall on an outstretched arm.
Rotator cuff tears that develop gradually involve degenerative damage to the shoulder. Your rotator cuff may wear down with age or repetitive shoulder motions like throwing a baseball or weightlifting.
Acute rotator cuff tears usually cause sudden, severe shoulder pain. You may also experience a snapping sensation and immediate arm weakness.
A degenerative rotator cuff tear also causes shoulder pain and arm weakness, but these symptoms may start mild and only bother you during specific movements.
Over time, you may notice the shoulder pain more frequently and at rest. You may even have trouble sleeping at night, especially if you lay on the injured shoulder.
The team at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics reviews your symptoms and medical history, then examines your shoulder, checking for tenderness and restricted range of motion.
They may also examine your neck to make sure your shoulder pain isn’t due to a pinched nerve. Imaging tests like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps the team rule out other conditions, like arthritis, and gives the team important information about your injury.
They then develop an individualized treatment plan. In most cases, rotator cuff tears improve with non-surgical treatments like:
If your rotator cuff tear is severe or your symptoms continue despite treatment, surgery may be necessary. The expert team at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics uses minimally invasive techniques like arthroscopic surgery to perform rotator cuff repair whenever possible.
For the highest degree of care for a rotator cuff tear, call Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics, or schedule an appointment online today.
Our Rotator Cuff Tear Specialists