Your rotator cuff, composed of tendons and muscles, keeps your shoulder structure together and functioning. Injuries to the rotator cuff can be painful and life-changing. When you suffer an injury, it is common to want to rest and let the injury itself. However, when it comes to your shoulder, symptoms are unlikely to resolve on their own. The best thing you can do is seek a medical professional’s advice when you suffer an injury to the shoulder.
What Is the Rotator Cuff?
The rotator cuff is a shoulder structure composed of four tendons and their associated muscles. The rotator cuff holds the upper arm bone in the socket joint, allowing for its flexibility and wide range of motion. It enables you to throw a ball, reach for an object on a high shelf, carry heavy objects, and much more.
What Can Injure My Rotator Cuff?
Injuries, repetitive motions, and aging can all damage your rotator cuff, causing symptoms, such as:
- Persistent, aching pain, particularly at night
- Limited range of motion
- Shoulder and arm weakness
What Is the Right Way to Treat My Rotator Cuff Injury?
To determine the best treatment options for your rotator cuff injury, you should be evaluated by Dr. Hefley in Little Rock, AR. Describe your symptoms in detail, including information on how your injury could have occurred. Be specific about when and where your symptoms started and what relieves them.
Dr. Hefley will examine your shoulder and use X-rays, an MRI, or another imaging technique to determine the nature of your issue. Rotator cuff tears – both partial and complete – are very common. In fact, about half of people ages 60 and older have experienced a partial tear. Many don’t even realize they have a problem. An experienced orthopedic specialist can detect the problem through diagnostic imaging.
With their findings, your doctor can recommend treatments to bring you relief. Treatments typically include rest, over-the-counter medications, and physical therapy. Dr. Hefley also offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell injections to speed up the body’s methods to heal itself.
In some cases, conservative treatments may not deliver the results you need. In such situations, surgery may be the right treatment. Here are two kinds of rotator cuff repair procedures offered at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics in Little Rock, AR.
Minimally Invasive Rotator Cuff Repair
For severe to complete tears, you may qualify for arthroscopic, or minimally invasive, shoulder surgery. This small-incision procedure involves tissue removal and repair using small surgical instruments and a tiny, lighted camera. Most patients return home the same day of the procedure. Immobilization and physical therapy typically follow.
Open Rotator Cuff Repair
Reserved for severe cases, this procedure involves opening the entire shoulder area using a large incision to reattach torn tendons to bones. Sometimes, the surgeon performs a tendon transfer or uses a neighboring tendon to fix a tear.
In very serious cases, your best choice may be a shoulder joint replacement.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Little Rock, AR
At Bowen Hefley Orthopedics, Dr. Bill Hefley and his team have an impressive skill set and experience in diagnosing and treating all kinds of musculoskeletal issues, including rotator cuff problems. If you are concerned about your shoulder, please do not hesitate to call us for an in-depth consultation.