Rotator Cuff Injury

What You Need to Know

Rotator cuff injuries can occur in a variety of forms. The most mild form of injury is caused by inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff or the shoulder bursae. More severe injuries include partial and full thickness rotator cuff tears. If there is significant weakness, pain or decreased range of motion, a full thickness rotator cuff tear is more likely.

Causes

Rotator cuff injuries can result from overuse or trauma, but they can also simply be caused by old age and natural degeneration.

Symptoms

  • Decreased range of motion of the shoulder.
  • Difficulty with overhead activities (combing hair, putting on a bra, etc.)
  • Difficulty with repetitive activities.
  • Pain in the shoulder.
  • Weakness of the arm or shoulder.

Physical therapy can be done to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and improve range of motion. If conservative care doesn’t produce results, surgical intervention may be an option.