Rotator Cuff Repair

What causes a rotator cuff tear and how would I know if I have one?

A rotator cuff tear may result from an acute injury such as a fall or may be caused by chronic wear and tear with degeneration of the tendon. Impingement of the front of the scapula, the acromion, on the tendon is believed to be a major cause of cuff tears in individuals older than 40 years.

Typically, you will feel pain in the front of your shoulder that radiates down the side of your arm. It may be present with overhead activities such as lifting or reaching. You may feel pain when you try to sleep on the affected side. You may note weakness of your arm and difficulty with routine activities such as combing your hair or reaching behind your back.

If the tear occurs with injury you may experience acute pain, a snapping sensation, and immediate weakness of the arm.

When should I see a doctor for a rotator cuff tear?

If you have injured your shoulder or have chronic shoulder and arm pain, it is best to see your orthopaedic surgeon. He or she can then make a diagnosis and begin treatment. The doctor may recommend a diagnostic study such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to confirm the diagnosis.

Early diagnosis and treatment of a rotator cuff tear may prevent symptoms such as loss of strength and loss of motion from setting in.

If your primary physician has already made the diagnosis, an orthopaedic surgeon can review both surgical and non surgical options and start treatment.

(928) 854-3333


...or fill in the contact form on our Contact Us page:

CONTACT US