After age 50, rotator cuff tears become an increasingly common cause of shoulder pain. Sometimes tears need surgery, but many individuals do well without surgery. At Sports Health Northwest, we are happy to discuss your shoulder pain and if its related to your rotator cuff. We want to help you improve strength and function
Rotator cuff tear
The rotator cuff (RTC) is a group of muscles arising from the shoulder blade and attaching to the humerus and help provide function and stability to the shoulder. Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of shoulder pain and weakness.
RTC tears can be associated with trauma like a fall, and more commonly, they tend to be due to chronic tendon damage, degeneration, and overload.
RTC tears tend to occur in middle age and older individuals. Sports and work that require overhead activity are also associated with developing RTC tears. Also smoking can increase the risk of developing a RTC tear
Shoulder weakness and night pain are two common symptoms associated with a RTC tear. At times RTC tears can be difficult to diagnose based on history and exam and require additional imaging utilizing x-ray, MRI, or ultrasound.
RTC tear treatment can be individualized as some do well with surgery and others are better managed without surgery.
If you suspect your shoulder pain is due to a RTC tear, please make an appointment with a sports medicine specialist. At Sports Health Northwest, we understand the importance of a thorough history and physical exam to evaluate for a RTC tear. Additionally, our sports injury specialist utilizes musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS) to carefully evaluate for injury to the rotator cuff