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Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist



Orthopedics, Physical Therapy, & Podiatry located in Merrillville, IN

Between two and four million Americans experience a rotator cuff tear each year. Though painful, with intervention and treatment, it’s possible to prevent complications and restore your range of motion. At Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants, the board-certified orthopaedic surgeons offer several types of treatment for rotator cuff tears, including shoulder replacement surgery and minimally invasive surgery. To make an appointment, call the practice in Merrillville, Indiana, or schedule a consultation online today.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear is an injury to your rotator cuff –– a group of muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint, allowing you to lift, reach, and grab. Specifically, a rotator cuff tear causes your tendons to pull away from your arm bone. Over time, that results in swelling, pain, and mobility issues.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include:

  • A dull ache deep in your shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty doing routine tasks like combing your hair or brushing your teeth
  • Arm weakness

Depending on the severity of the rotator cuff tear, you might also have trouble lifting your arm or picking up objects.

What are the types of rotator cuff tears?

Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants treats several types of rotator cuff tears, including:

Partial rotator cuff tears

If you experience a partial rotator cuff tear, some of your tendons still connect to your arm bone. 

Complete rotator cuff tears 

If you experience a complete rotator cuff tear, your tendons separate entirely from the bone, causing pain and shoulder instability.

How is a rotator cuff tear diagnosed?

To diagnose a rotator cuff tear, your provider at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including where the pain occurs, if it spreads into other parts of your body, and if certain activities like work or exercise make it worse.

Next, your provider carefully examines your shoulder and gently presses on your joint to pinpoint areas of sensitivity or warmth, test your range of motion, and assess your arm strength. They might also order diagnostic imaging, like X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI to look for signs of arthritis or torn tendons.

After diagnosing the cause of your shoulder pain, your provider develops a custom treatment plan.

How is a rotator cuff tear treated?

Treatment of a rotator cuff tear depends on various factors, including the severity of the tear and the intensity of your symptoms. Usually, Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants recommends minimally invasive treatments, like:

  • Immobilization with a sling
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections

If non-surgical treatments don’t provide relief and your symptoms persist or get worse, you might benefit from surgery. During rotator cuff repair surgery, your provider uses special tools to remove bone spurs and reattach the tendon to your upper arm bone.

To explore the various treatment options for a rotator cuff tear, make an appointment at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants. Call the office or book a consultation online today.