Torn Rotator Cuff: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Torn Rotator Cuff: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment | HealthSoul

A torn rotator cuff occurs when the muscles or tendons in the arm and shoulder become overstretched and torn. It is usually the result of an injury or overuse, and it can be painful and debilitating. It can start as a dull ache and then become more painful with movement in the arm or when lying on the injured arm. The sooner a person seeks treatment for a torn rotator cuff, the easier the recovery.

What is Torn Rotator Cuff?

Torn Rotator Cuff Causes

There are several factors that can cause a torn rotator cuff. The most common is an injury. Overuse and repetitive use can also cause the muscles to become weak and torn. Degeneration is also a common cause of wear and tear on the tendon. Some other common causes include:

  • Age
  • Playing sports
  • Occupation that requires physical activity
  • Family history

Torn Rotator Cuff Causes

Torn Rotator Cuff Symptoms

The symptoms of a torn rotator cuff can vary by individual. Some people don’t realize they are injured until the injury becomes more severe. Some people have severe pain, and others only experience minor symptoms. The most common symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include:

  • Pain deep in the shoulder
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Mobility issues
  • Weakness

Torn Rotator Cuff Diagnosis

It can sometimes be hard to diagnose a torn rotator cuff because the symptoms can mimic that of other injuries. Doctors may perform several tests and procedures to find the cause of the pain and discomfort and to confirm that the issue is a torn rotator cuff. Some of the ways doctors diagnose the injury include:

  • X-rays: X-rays allow the doctor to look at the inside of the shoulder or joint to see if the muscle or tendon is torn or if there is another reason for the injury.
  • Ultrasound: Sound waves bounce off the tissue in the body and can show doctors if there are any injuries to the joints, tendons, or muscles.
  • MRI: MRIs use radio waves and magnets to show the structures of the shoulder in great detail. This can help doctors find the exact location of the tear.

Torn Rotator Cuff Treatment

Torn rotator cuffs can be treated in a variety of ways. Doctors will consider the overall health of the patient, the patient’s treatment preference, and the severity of the injury when choosing the appropriate treatment. Some of the treatment options include:

  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Tendon repair
  • Shoulder replacement
  • Pain medication
  • Rest

Torn Rotator Cuff Prognosis

Many people do not even know they have a rotator cuff tear, which can make the tear more severe. If left untreated, the tear can worsen over time, and eventually, the symptoms will become noticeable and even severe. The worse the tear, the longer the recovery. As a person grows older, they are more likely to suffer from a torn rotator cuff. Once a person is treated properly and the muscle or ligament has had time to mend, the symptoms subside, and most people have no complications. Some people do experience reoccurring pain or stiffness in the area even after recovery. People who have torn their rotator cuff in the past are likely to experience a similar injury again