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The shoulder
Hand surgery

Rotator Cuff Tears and Shoulder Pain

“Just getting dressed was painful. And, combing my hair...forget it! That’s when I knew I needed to see the surgeon for my shoulder pain.”

“These are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear,” said the doctor. Here’s what else he told me:

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of the upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. In most cases, rotator cuff tears happen from repetitive motion, playing sports that involve a lot of shoulder movements, such as tennis, swimming, baseball, and weightlifting, or strain to the shoulder as you age.

Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury can range from minor to severe. Common symptoms of minor rotator cuff tears is pain to the upper shoulder, which usually goes away after a few weeks or month. Severe tears go on for a long period of time and can include pain that worsens at night and interfere with sleep, progressive weakness, reduced ability to move your arm in certain motions and difficulty raising your arm above your shoulder.

Luckily, this patient’s injury was treated with anti-inflammatory injections and medications to relieve his pain and reduce inflammation. Some patients with more severe injuries require surgery. Both usually are prescribed physical therapy to improve mobility and strengthen your shoulder muscles before, during and after treatment.

If you shoulder pain, call Ortho El Paso. We’ll thoroughly check out your shoulder pain to properly diagnose the injury. This may require x-rays, MRI and/or ultrasound tests.