Rotator Cuff Tears
Treatment for Rotator Cuff tears
Pain and weakness in your shoulder can be caused by a number of conditions.
One common shoulder problem we treat at Capital Orthopaedics is a rotator cuff tear. The group of tendons that connect the muscles around your shoulder to the bones of your joint can get torn as a result of a traumatic injury or wear and tear. Symptoms can include difficulty reaching behind your back, a dull ache deep in the joint, and a feeling of weakness in your arm.
The Capital Orthopaedics team – headed up by renowned orthopaedic surgeon Simon Moyes – offers state-of-the-art diagnostic scans, expert consultancy and the very best treatment for rotator cuff tears. Our team is made up of highly experienced consultant surgeons, radiologists, physiotherapists and nurses – dedicated to offering you effective treatment with the shortest possible recovery time.
If you have torn rotator cuff symptoms or any shoulder pain, contact Simon Moyes and Capital Orthopaedics to book a consultation.
What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?
Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body, requiring a number of different muscles to enable it to move in different directions. Stretchy tendons connect these muscles connect to the bones of your shoulder, forming a tube called the rotator cuff.
The rotator cuff tendons can get completely or partially torn, causing pain and inflammation in your shoulder and reduced range of motion.
What are the Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear?
If you have a rotator cuff injury, you may experience:
- A dull ache deep in your shoulder joint – particularly at night
- Difficulty lifting your arm up or behind your back
- Weakness in your arm
For any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible, as the condition can lead to other problems such as arthritis.
What Causes a Rotator Cuff Tear?
The tendons of your rotator cuff can be torn as a result of a traumatic injury to your shoulder (such as a fall or a collision), or due to repetitive actions (wear and tear).
Arthritis in your shoulder joint can lead to rotator cuff tears, as the tendons rub against damaged bone surfaces or bony lumps called bone spurs.
It’s more common in people who play contact sports like rugby, throwing or overarm sports (like cricket or tennis), weight lifting, or those who do a lot of overhead movements as part of their job (such as decorators). Other risk factors include having a family history of the conditions, and age (it’s more common in the over-60s).
Does a torn rotator cuff need surgery?
We assess the severity of a rotator cuff tear using MRI (magnetic resolution imaging) or ultrasound scans. X-rays may also be used to review bone damage.
Depending on the severity of the tear, we offer a range of non-surgical and surgical treatments, including:
Exercises to improve movement and strengthen the muscles around your shoulder. Massage may also be used to improve blood flow and encourage healing. Keeping your shoulder mobile is important to prevent the connective tissue around the joint (capsule) from thickening, resulting in frozen shoulder.
Steroid injections can help reduce pain and inflammation. Plasma injections may be used to stimulate healing.
- Using electromagnetic waves to help stimulate healing.
Rotator cuff surgery
There are a number of surgical options for rotator cuff tears. These are carried out arthroscopically (keyhole surgery) or using minimally invasive techniques to ensure quicker healing and shorter recovery times.
- Rotator cuff repair: reattaching the tendon to the bones
- Tendon graft: replacing a badly damaged tendon with another tendon from your body or from a donor
- Shoulder replacement: replacing all or part of the shoulder joint with prosthetic parts
How We Can Help
Capital Orthopaedics is highly experienced at resolving rotator cuff tears – always opting for our highly effective non-surgical treatment plans before offering surgery. We aim to carry out keyhole and minimally invasive surgery if at all possible – ensuring that you have quick recovery times and get back to your activities and sport in the shortest time possible. Our physiotherapists are all sports medicine experts who have a background in supporting professional sportspeople through their rehabilitation, so you can expect highly effective treatment programmes.
Based in three London locations, we offer dedicated physiotherapy clinics, the latest diagnostic equipment and cutting edge surgical techniques. Find us at The Cromwell Hospital near Earls Court, The Platinum Medical Centre near Regent’s Park and The Basinghall Clinic in The City. Click here for location details.
For more information on any musculoskeletal problems, shoulder injuries and rotator cuff tears, contact Simon Moyes and the Capital Orthopaedics.
Frequently Asked Questiona
You are at higher risk if you have a family history of rotator cuff injuries, if you play a contact sports such as rugby, you do a lot of repetitive overarm activities. It’s also more common in people over 60.
After a physical assessment, an MRI or ultrasound scan will be used to see the extent of the damage to your rotator cuff tendons and to rule out any other conditions. An x-ray or CT scan may also be used to check for bone damage or fracture.
Recovery time depends on the severity of the tear and your response (and dedication) to rehabilitation. It can take several weeks or more to gain full range of motion. After rotator cuff surgery, you can expect to be in a sling for six weeks while the tendon heals, and then at least two months before you can return to full activities.
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