Rotator cuff injuries are common among Americans with over 200,000 people requiring treatment each year. For those who experience this kind of injury, simple activities become difficult to perform such as extending your arm above your head, putting clothes on, or washing your hair. If you should sustain a rotator cuff injury, it’s important to know that there are a couple variations that require their own unique forms of treatment.
Types of Rotator Cuff Injuries
There are two primary types of rotator cuff injuries, which are full-thickness tears and partial tears. Full-thickness injuries refer to instances where the tendon is completely disconnected from the shoulder bone. Partial rotator cuff tears exist when the tendon is damaged but is still connected to the bone. Both types are often the result of blunt physical trauma but can occur over time with age.
Knowing The Facts
When a tear occurs within the rotator cuff, the tendon retracts toward the opposite side. If left alone, the body naturally transitions the damaged muscle into fat. It’s important to seek immediate treatment after a tear takes place because of how difficult it is to repair rotator cuff’s that retract more than three centimeters, as well as the inability to turn the fat back into a muscle.
For tears that are caused by stress that accumulates over time with age, most patients are able to receive treatment without considering surgery. However, tears that occur because of an injury usually require surgical intervention. If you experience a slip and fall accident or have started to notice pain in your shoulder, contact one of our Orthopedic Doctors for a complete examination.
How To Speak With Your Orthopedic Doctor About A Torn Rotator Cuff
Speaking with your Orthopedic Doctor about a rotator cuff condition is important for understanding the extent of your injury, as well as which treatment options are appropriate for you. A few questions you should ask your doctor are:
- What is the extent of the tear?
- Are we able to treat the tear without surgery?
- How far has the tear retracted?
- Has the transition from muscle to fat already begun?
Make sure to discuss your goals, too. If you swim on a regular basis for exercise and your goal is to continue this, your Orthopedic Doctor should know.
Contact AICA Orthopedics Today
If you sustain a torn rotator cuff and are looking for information or treatment, we welcome you to contact our team. AICA Orthopedics has the best Orthopedists in Atlanta when it comes to understanding the ideal form of treatment for each patient. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation or an examination – just dial (404) 855-2141.