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Rotator Cuff Tear

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery & Physical Therapy located in Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Every year, around 2 million Americans seek treatment for rotator cuff injuries. At Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, the team of orthopaedic surgeons diagnoses rotator cuff injuries and provides expert, personalized treatment to repair your shoulder and relieve your pain. Call the office in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, or schedule a consultation online today if you have persistent shoulder pain, weakness, and limited movement.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

Your rotator cuff is the network of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder together, providing stability and the extensive range of motion of the joint. 

A rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the tendons in your shoulder tears and separates from the top of your humerus (upper arm bone). 

Rotator cuff tears are typically caused by either an acute traumatic injury or degeneration. Rotator cuff injuries are common in athletes who perform repetitive movements or from falling on an outstretched hand. 

As you age, your connective tissue becomes dry and vulnerable to wear-and-tear injuries. Shoulder arthritis can contribute to bone spur development, which can increase your risk of rotator cuff tears. 

What are the signs of a rotator cuff tear?

Rotator cuff tears hurt, especially when you perform certain movements like lifting your arm above your head. The pain is persistent and might interrupt your sleep and make it uncomfortable to sleep on your side. 

Other signs of a rotator cuff tear include:

  • Grating or cracking sounds when you move
  • Reduced ability to move your arm
  • Muscle weakness

If you have persistent shoulder pain or other signs of a rotator cuff tear, call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics to schedule an appointment today. 

How are rotator cuff tears diagnosed?

The orthopaedic surgeons provide thorough physical exams to evaluate your shoulder. They might have you move your arm or stretch so they can see how your pain interferes with your movement. 

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics also offers in-office diagnostic tests, including open MRIs, X-rays, and arthroscopy. These tests allow them to see inside your shoulder and evaluate your injury in more detail. 

How are rotator cuff tears treated?

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics creates a customized treatment plan to address your pain and repair your shoulder. 

Mild tears might heal with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medicine, including cortisone injections. Your physician may also recommend physical therapy or ultrasound treatments to rehabilitate your shoulder. 

In more severe cases, you might need surgery to repair the damage. The team tries conservative treatments before recommending surgery. Whenever possible, they use minimally invasive techniques to repair rotator cuff tears. 

Call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics or make an appointment online today if you have persistent shoulder pain that disrupts your quality of life.