What is a Rotator cuff tear?
The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles – Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis. They together form tendons that cover the humerus head. The rotator cuff plays an important role in the movement of arms. It connects the humerus to the shoulder blade which helps in the rotation of the arm.
Any damage or tear in the rotator cuff will affect the shoulder movement. Supraspinatus muscle is most commonly affected and even the tendons. If more than one tendon is torn, their connection with the humerus head will be obstructed and they will no longer be attached. This will result in pain and immobility in the patient preventing them from carrying out daily activities like combing hair and even getting dressed. If you have a recent injury on your shoulder, contact the best orthopedic doctor in Hyderabad to analyze the damage and provide proper treatment.
Types of tears:
1) Partial Tear: In this type of tear only a part of the rotator cuff is damaged, not the complete tendon. It scars the soft tissues but doesn’t detach the tendons.
2) Full-Thickness Tear: This type of tear basically forms a hole in the tendon. The tendon is completely torn, making it difficult to even move the shoulder. The repair is more complicated in such cases.
3) Acute Tear: Acute tear occurs on the front side of the shoulder. It occurs due to severe jerking movement by lifting heavy objects or by an accident.
4) Degenerative Tear: This type of tear is often due to the wearing down of tendons with age. It occurs slowly over time and is common in the dominant arm.
Causes of rotator cuff injury:
- Repetitive Stress: Repeating similar shoulder movements over and over can pressure your Rotator Cuff Muscles and ligaments. Some intense sports activities like tennis, baseball, weightlifting, etc. can cause the tearing of ligaments. Many movements and jerks in daily errands can also cause injury in the tendons.
- Less Blood Supply: With age, the blood supply in our Rotator Cuff Tendons decreases. Without a proper blood supply, the body’s inherent capacity to fix ligament scars is decreased. This can eventually prompt a tendon tear.
- Bone Spurs: As we age, bone overgrowth frequently fosters on the underside of the acromion bone. At the point when we lift our arms, the prods rub on the Rotator Cuff Tendon. This condition is called Shoulder Impingement, and over the long haul will debilitate the ligament and make it bound to tear.
Symptoms of rotator cuff injury
The symptoms of rotator cuff injury are similar to any shoulder injury or fracture. It should not be misinterpreted and ignored.
- Sudden pain during the night, especially while sleeping or lying on the affected shoulder
- Weakness or numbness while raising the arm
- Worsening of pain while lifting any object
- Clicking or popping sound with growing pain while making any arm movement.
Treatment and recovery
The initial treatment for any type of rotator cuff injury starts with non-surgical options like rest, ice, and physiotherapy to provide strength to the muscle and regain the normal motion of the shoulder. If the initial treatment doesn’t work and the tear is severe, the best orthopedic doctor in Hyderabad will suggest surgery.
An X-ray will be taken to analyze the severity of the tear and then the further procedure will be planned with the patient. The best orthopedic surgeon in Hyderabad may consider using an arthroscopic procedure to repair the damaged area. The recovery post-surgery will depend on the type of surgery and the age of the patient. It may take weeks and even months to properly recover after taking complete rest and suggested physical exercise.