IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics serves the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Our orthopedic surgeon specializes in injury treatments, including repair and reconstruction for torn rotator cuffs. He utilizes advanced options, from physical therapy to surgery, to help patients find long-term relief from their ailments and return to their normal lifestyles.
Torn Rotator Cuffs Explained
The rotator cuff is a bundle of muscle and fibrous connective tissues, or tendons, surrounding the shoulder. Its job is to keep the head of the upper arm bone, or humerus, firmly in its shallow socket. Your rotator cuff also facilitates movement, helping you lift, stretch, reach, and perform all kinds of motions.
Tendons in the rotator cuff see a lot of use, however, making them highly susceptible to injury. Some rotator cuff tears are partial, meaning that the tendon is only damaged or frayed. In severe cases, the tear can completely cut through the entire tendon. Most tears are caused by:
- Injury from sports
- Occupational use
- A car accident
- Progressive wear
- And more.
Our Rotator Cuff Repair Process
If the tear is mild, physical therapy (PT) will encourage natural healing while helping you regain your strength. Meanwhile, over-the-counter medication keeps pain and inflammation to a minimum. When PT fails, however, orthopedic surgery may be necessary. Here is what to expect from your rotator cuff repair surgery:
- 1. The surgeon makes an incision and inserts an arthroscope, or tiny camera, into the shoulder. The arthroscope allows doctors to operate more precisely without large openings.
- 2. Surgeons trim and smooth the frayed edges of torn tendons to discourage further tearing.
- 3. If bits of bone or tendon have become caught in the joint, they will be removed.
- 4. Fully torn tendons are gently stitched back to their original sites.
In extreme cases, the tendon may not be fixable. Very severely torn tendons cannot be stitched, so they must be replaced. If this is the case, our orthopedic surgeon will gently cut away the damaged tissue and install artificial implants in its place. This results in a strong, secure joint that’s unlikely to tear again. You’ll enjoy long-term improvement, freedom of motion, and a reduced risk of future injuries.
When to Seek Rotator Cuff Treatment
Not every torn tendon comes with symptoms – some patients don’t experience any pain or difficulty at all. When symptoms exist, however, they are often severe, and may include the following:
- Popping or clicking sensations when moving the arm
- Pain that worsens when moving the arm in specific directions
- Pain that worsens when lying down or putting pressure on the shoulder
- Difficulty raising or rotating the arm in certain directions
- Weakness in the arm or shoulder
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, speak with IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics. An untreated tear may lead to scar tissue buildup and worse issues down the road, including arthritis or frozen shoulder.
Seek Help with Your Torn Rotator Cuff
Torn rotator cuffs may be uncomfortable, but they are treatable. IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics is an award-winning orthopedic facility specializing in advanced treatments like rotator cuff repair. We utilize cutting-edge technology to help you find relief. Schedule an appointment at one of our locations in NJ and NY by contacting us today.