Signs Your Rotator Cuff Injury May Need Surgical Intervention

A rotator cuff tear is an incredibly painful injury that does not always respond to non-surgical treatment methods. Non-surgical treatments are possible, but thick tears often require surgical intervention in order to heal. Learn more about your rotator cuff injury to identify whether rotator cuff surgery is your best path forward.

What Is a Rotator Cuff Injury?

The rotator cuff is located in your shoulder. It consists of a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and keep the upper arm connected to the shoulder socket. This area most frequently sustains injury as a result of ongoing overuse, especially from performing overhead motions. This is why painters, carpenters, tennis players, and baseball players are most prone to rotator cuff injuries.

Signs You Have a Rotator Cuff Tear

Did you simply injure your shoulder temporarily, or are you suffering from a rotator cuff tear? These signs indicate that it could be a tear:

  • You have shoulder pain at night and at rest, especially when lying on the injured shoulder
  • Lifting and lowering your arm causes pain
  • You feel weakness when lifting or moving your arm

When you visit your orthopedic surgeon, he will evaluate the condition of your shoulder to determine the size of the tear in your rotator cuff. Based on the condition of your shoulder, he might recommend surgery as the best treatment option.

Is Surgery Necessary?

Rotator cuff surgery is recommended when you exhibit the following:

  • Ongoing symptoms for 6 to 12 months
  • A large tear of more than 3 cm, with good quality in the surrounding tendon tissue
  • Significant weakness and loss of function in the shoulder

What to Expect From Rotator Cuff Surgery

Rotator cuff surgery can be completed in a few ways. Open repair is used for large and complex tears, while tears on the smaller side can be healed using minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. You can expect to make a full recovery after about six weeks, during which time you should sleep on an incline and refrain from elevating your arm.

If you suspect that you have a rotator cuff injury that needs treatment, call (941) 485-1505 to schedule an appointment at Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine in Venice, Florida.