Rotator Cuff Tear

South Bay Orthopedic and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic Surgeons & Internists located in San Jose, CA

A rotator cuff tear is a particularly painful injury that can significantly inhibit daily functioning. At South Bay Orthopedic and Sports Medicine in San Jose, California, the husband and wife team of Dr. Samir Sharma and Dr. Kavita Sharma provide effective treatments, including rotator cuff repair surgery, medications, and platelet-rich plasma therapy, with the goal of getting you back in the game and restoring your mobility as quickly as possible. Click or call to schedule your appointment today.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint that secure the head of your upper arm bone in the shallow socket of your shoulder. If one of these tendons becomes completely or partially detached, you’ve experienced a rotator cuff tear. These injuries typically cause pain, inflammation, aching, and swelling.

If left untreated, a rotator cuff tear can lead to permanent weakness or stiffness in the shoulder and even a progressive degeneration of the entire shoulder joint.

What causes rotator cuff tears?

Rotator cuff tears usually occur from repeated motions, particularly overhead motions like painting or throwing a ball. They can also result from an accident, a fall, or other trauma. Wear and degeneration of the tendon tissue over time may also lead to a torn rotator cuff.

When a rotator cuff injury occurs, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, since it might require time-sensitive treatments like surgical repair or joint replacement.

Certain factors can increase your risk of rotator cuff injury, such as:

  • Advanced age
  • A family history of rotator cuff injuries
  • Heavy lifting or high-impact physical activity
  • Bone spurs in or around the shoulder that can potentially damage or irritate the tendons
  • An underlying medical condition that impacts the bones and muscles and causes inflammation, such as an autoimmune disease

How is a rotator cuff tear treated?

Your South Bay doctor typically diagnoses a torn rotator cuff using an MRI, ultrasound, physical exam, and/or an X-ray. Once a diagnosis has been made, the South Bay Orthopedics team can offer a range of effective treatment solutions depending on the severity of your injury.

Treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Bone spur removal surgery
  • Anti-inflammatory oral medications
  • Steroid injections for pain and swelling relief
  • Arthroscopic tendon repair surgery
  • Shoulder joint replacement surgery
  • Tendon transfer

While resting your shoulder is important, guided shoulder movements and recommended rehabilitative exercises are equally necessary to prevent the connective tissue from enclosing the joint to the point where it becomes restricted, tightened, and thickened — sometimes referred to as a frozen shoulder.

The South Bay Orthopedic professionals give you specific exercises tailored just for you to help you strengthen your muscles and tendons.

If you’ve suffered a shoulder injury, call today or book an appointment online for quality orthopedic care.