Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine located in Naples, FL
No matter what shoulder problem you develop, and even if the pain seems mild, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Philip Regala, MD, for an initial consultation. No two shoulders are alike. Dr. Regala has clinical expertise in treating the spectrum of rotator cuff tear injuries, from a partial tear to a full thickness tear, providing treatment designed to restore optimal strength and function. If you have shoulder pain or arm weakness, call the office in Naples, Florida, or schedule an appointment online.
Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A
What causes a rotator cuff tear?
Each shoulder has a rotator cuff that’s made up of four muscles and the tendons that connect the muscles to the surrounding bones. The rotator cuff is responsible for holding your upper arm in the shoulder socket and stabilizing the shoulder joint, while also supporting the arm’s full range of motion.
Rotator cuff tears most often occur in the tendons, where they’re caused by an acute injury or degenerative damage. Degenerative tears develop as repetitive movements weaken the tissues or when bone spurs rub against the soft tissues.
What symptoms develop due to a rotator cuff tear?
Some rotator cuff tears may not cause obvious symptoms, yet they can still cause arm weakness. In most cases, however, you’ll experience:
- Pain when resting
- Pain when lifting and lowering your arm
- Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
- Crackling sensations when moving your shoulder
An acute injury typically causes immediate pain and weakness in your upper arm. By comparison, degenerative damage begins with mild symptoms that gradually worsen over time.
How do orthopedic surgeons treat a rotator cuff tear?
Dr. Regala thoroughly evaluates your rotator cuff tear and then develops the best treatment plan based on your activity goals and whether your tear is a partial (incomplete) tear or a full thickness (complete) tear.
A mild rotator cuff tear often improves with rest, physical therapy, steroid injections, or injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
Dr. Regala may recommend surgery if:
- You use your arms for overhead work or sports
- You have a complete tear
- You have a large tear
- Your symptoms last 6-12 months
- You have significant weakness and loss of shoulder function
- Your tear was caused by a recent, acute injury
Surgical repair is often the only way to ensure that you regain optimal strength and range of motion.
In most cases, Dr. Regala performs your rotator cuff repair using minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. This approach uses a few small incisions and spares your muscles from being cut. Instead, Dr. Regala gently separates the muscle fibers to accommodate the narrow surgical tools.
Arthroscopic surgery causes less pain, promotes faster healing, and gets you into rehabilitation and back into action sooner than open surgery.
To prevent complications, get prompt help for shoulder pain. Call Philip Regala, MD, or schedule an appointment online.