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OAS Health Blog

Rotator Cuff Tears

January 30, 2015

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons whose function is to provide power to shoulder elevation and rotation.
When a patient develops a tear in the rotator cuff they complain of pain with certain arm positions, loss of strength, and difficulty with activities of daily living.
The diagnosis of a rotator cuff tear is usually based on patient's history and physical exam, and frequently confirmed with an MRI of the shoulder.
Treatment for rotator cuff tears depends on a patient's symptoms, age, size of tear and desired activities.
Nonoperative treatment includes physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections.
If surgery is indicated, usually it is done as an outpatient surgery. The repair can be performed arthroscopically (minimally invasive), where the surgeon attaches the torn end of the tendon to the area where it detached using special anchors. At the same time a small bone spur is removed to create more space for the tendon and limit "impingement".
Post surgery patients are placed in a sling for a period of several weeks while physical therapy is started simultaneously . Most patients recover over a period of 6 months to resume full sports activities

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