Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Athletes and older adults are vulnerable to injuring this area. The orthopedic team at Sports Medicine Oregon in Tigard and Wilsonville, Oregon, is skilled in diagnosing shoulder injuries and offers rotator cuff repair to restore function so you can get back to an active lifestyle. Call today or use the online tool to schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing shoulder pain.
Your shoulder is an incredibly mobile joint, thanks mostly to the rotator cuff. This group of muscles and tendons connects to the upper arm bone and makes it possible to rotate and lift your arm. The rotator cuff is also important in stabilizing your shoulder joint.
Repetitive overhead motions or acute injuries can result in tears in this connective tissue.
Over time, a small or partial tear in one of the tendons of the rotator cuff can progress to become a large or complete tear. A one-off incident, like a fall or tackle, as well as degenerative wear-and-tear, are usually the cause of rotator cuff injuries.
A rotator cuff injury can cause pain after a workout or movement-specific pain, such as during throwing. You may lose power in your throw if you’re a pitcher or in the velocity of your strikes if you play volleyball.
Rotator cuff pain may be most notable at night when you’re lying down. You may also experience more pain and weakness when lifting, lowering, or rotating your arm.
The compromised movement and pain are usually due to inflammation of the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff.
When minimally invasive treatments, like physical therapy and regenerative injections, fail to offer relief and restore movement in your rotator cuff, surgery may be required.
Rotator cuff repair surgery mends a torn rotator cuff tendon. During the procedure, your doctor surgically reattaches the tendon to the bone. If you have a partial tear, the doctors may only need to trim or smooth the area to reduce friction and irritation.
These surgeries are usually performed arthroscopically with small incisions and tiny instruments. That minimally invasive approach means less swelling, faster recovery, minimal scarring, and reduced risk of infection.
You usually return home the same day following minimally invasive rotator cuff repair. You’re given comprehensive aftercare instructions that include icing the area as needed to minimize swelling and pain.
Expect to wear a sling for several days or even weeks to allow for proper healing. You can return to a sedentary job within a few days but will need to take more time off for more strenuous work.
Full recovery from rotator cuff repair usually takes several weeks or months, depending on the extent of your tear. You will benefit from a customized physical therapy plan during your recovery. That helps you to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder and restore full function.
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain and suspect a rotator cuff injury, contact Sports Medicine Oregon for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.