Rotator Cuff Tear Specialists

Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics -  - Orthopedics

Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in Nashville, TN & Franklin, TN

Rotator cuff injury, like a rotator cuff tear, is a leading cause for shoulder pain. The shoulder specialists at Elite Sports Medicine can help identify the cause of your rotator cuff pain in Nashville or Franklin, Tennessee. If you think you have a shoulder injury or think you may have a torn rotator cuff, call or book an appointment online today.


Rotator Cuff Tears and Other Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment


What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

Man with shoulder pain

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 and separate from your upper arm bone's head. A rotator cuff tear can be partial or complete.


What Causes a Rotator Cuff Tear?

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.


What are Some of the Risk Factors Associated with a Rotator Cuff Tear?

Anyone can experience a rotator cuff tear and require treatment from doctors like the specialists at Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. However, your chances of a rotator cuff tear increase if you have any of the following risks:

  • You are older than age 60.
  • Other members of your family, such as parents or siblings, have had rotator cuff tears that required treatment.
  • Your occupation involves a lot of heavy lifting and repetitive shoulder and arm motions.


How do I Know if I Have a Rotator Cuff Tear?

An acute rotator cuff tears typically causes a sudden, severe shoulder pain. You may also experience something like 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.


Is it Important to get a Diagnosis if I Suspect I Have a Rotator Cuff Tear?

patient with shoulder doctor

If you think that you have the signs and symptoms of a torn rotator cuff, should you see a specialist or try to deal with the discomfort at home?

Doctors agree that it's always best to get a diagnosis for any unusual rotator cuff problems. That way, you'll know if you need non-surgical or surgical treatment.


Will a Torn Rotator Cuff Heal on its Own?

In most cases, a torn rotator cuff cannot heal itself. The rare exception would be very minor tears. However, if you already have minor tears in your rotator cuff, you're more likely to experience a major tear later.

Even if you can "live with the pain," you deserve to know what's happening with your body. That means visiting a rotator cuff tear specialist, such as our Nashville team, to learn more about your condition.


What Kind of Doctor Treats a Rotator Cuff Injury?

An orthopedic shoulder or sports medicine specialist will be able to provide rotator cuff treatment options.


How Will I Know if a Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist is a Good Fit for my Needs?

When treating an injury that may require surgery, it is important to seek help from a surgeon you trust. Our shoulder specialists have years of experience treating injuries like rotator cuff tears. They encourage you to ask questions take the time to listen so that you can get back to doing what you love most. 


What Questions Should I ask a Rotator Cuff Specialist During my Initial Appointment?

You probably have many questions about your rotator cuff injury. During your appointment with a Nashville rotator cuff tear specialist, you may want to ask:

  • Whether the specialist has treated your kind of rotator cuff injury before.
  • Whether you should consider non-surgical treatments as a first line of defense instead of surgery.
  • What to expect if you decide to move forward with rotator cuff surgery.
  • How you can make the most of your treatment plan and recover from your rotator cuff tear. 


How Does a Rotator Cuff Tear Doctor Diagnose and Treat the Injury?

The shoulder doctors at Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics review your symptoms and medical history, then examine 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) help the team rule out other conditions, like arthritis, and give 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:

  • Activity modification.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Strengthening exercises and physical therapy.
  • Steroid injection.

If your rotator cuff tear is severe or your symptoms continue despite treatment, surgery may be necessary. The expert team at Elite Sports Medicine uses minimally invasive techniques like arthroscopic surgery to perform rotator cuff repair whenever possible.


Rotator Cuff Tear Prevention Tips

If you are an athlete who uses your shoulder often, or you are recovering from a rotator cuff tear, it is important to focus on preventing a tear from forming or re-occuring.

The best way to prevent rotator cuff injuries is to keep the rotator cuff muscles strong and flexible. It is important to do strengthening and stretching exercises often, as well as taking breaks when you experience shoulder pain. 

Our team of physical therapists at MPOWER Physical Therapy have worked with a range of patients with rotator cuff tears. If you're healing from a rotator cuff tear injury or you interested in preventing an injury from occuring, schedule an appointment with one our physical therapists in Nashville, Franklin, or Brentwood, TN. 


Will my Insurance Cover Non-surgical, Surgical and Post-surgical Treatment of Rotator Cuff Tears?

What is covered in your treatment plan will depend on the type of insurance you have. Check out our resources page to see the list of insurances that we accept here at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. 


Make an Appointment With a Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist in Nashville, TN, Today

Why live with the discomfort and limited mobility of a torn rotator cuff? For the highest degree of care for torn rotator cuffs, call Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, or schedule an appointment with a shoulder specialist online today. 


Our Rotator Cuff Tear Specialists

Dr. Elrod


Dr. Moore


Dr. Price

Dr. Martin


Dr. Dierckman