What Is A Rotator Cuff Injury?

Your shoulder joint is made of both a shoulder blade (scapula), the upper arm bone (humerus), and the collar bone (clavicle). The rotator cuff is simply a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping your upper arm firmly in the shallow socket of the shoulder. The pain associated with a rotator cuff injury can range from a dull ache in the shoulder to severe pain and a lack of strength and flexibility in the event of a complete tear. Some symptoms that might indicate you are suffering from a rotator cuff injury include: (1) disturbed sleep; (2) difficulty moving your arm or reaching behind you; and (3) arm weakness.

How Is A Rotator Cuff Injury Caused?

Your rotator cuff will get weaker with age. Most often our clients have suffered a rotator injury or tear while attempting to catch themselves during a slip and fall or bracing for an impact in an automobile accident. Rotator cuff tears occur most commonly in people older than 40 years old.

What Are My Treatment Options For A Rotator Cuff Injury?

The type of treatment that our clients receive depends on the severity of the injury, and the individual.

If you are suffering from a rotator cuff injury, the doctor will begin by trying to control your pain and inflammation by prescribing rest and ibuprofen. However, your doctor may suggest a cortisone injection if you are having trouble managing your pain. Your doctor will also prescribe physical therapy and occupational therapy to improve your strength, range of motion, and to reduce pain. The goal is to retrain your muscles to keep the ball of the upper arm securely in the socket. Our clients typically undergo therapy sessions for six to eight weeks.

If you are suffering from a rotator cuff tear, surgery is typically the only option to repair this injury. Our clients often have to endure a slow process of healing after rotator cuff surgery that will likely include two to three months of physical therapy sessions. Your arm will need to be supported by a sling to protect the shoulder for several weeks after surgery, and during this period you will undergo hands-on treatments which will include ice and electrical stimulation to reduce pain and inflammation. Your physical therapist will then begin passive range of motion exercises for approximately six to twelve weeks, with formal strength training following the twelfth week. Again, the goal is to retrain your muscles to keep the ball and the humerus firmly in the socket.

Don't Wait To Get The Answers You Need

Contact Attorney Doug Stoehr if you have suffered a rotator cuff injury due to a car accident or a slip and fall. To schedule a free consultation, Contact our west-central Pennsylvania law firm by calling (814) 946-4100 or email us.