What Causes a Rotator Cuff Injury?
Overuse – Rotator cuff injuries can often be caused from overuse, especially when the same motion is repeated above shoulder level.
Age/Degeneration – Tendons and muscles naturally lose their strength and flexibility as we age, due to the body’s decrease in its internal ability to heal and regenerate. As we age, it becomes easier to damage the muscles and tendons in the shoulder. Pain from this type of tear can accumulate over time, gradually worsening the longer the tear goes untreated.
Injury – Rotator cuff tears can happen from a fall, automobile accident or sports injury. Pain from this type of tear is usually immediate and patients experience loss of use, loss of range of motion and less function in the shoulder.
What are the Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear?
Pain is the body’s first alert system to signal when something is wrong in the shoulder. A rotator cuff injury is often accompanied by sharp pain, weakness and tenderness in the joint. Pain with reaching and lifting, especially at or above shoulder height is often a related complaint. Pain at night is also common in rotator cuff tears. Dr. Mazzara is a shoulder specialist and can help diagnose the reason for pain in the shoulder.
How is a Torn Rotator Cuff Diagnosed?
Dr. Mazzara is a shoulder specialist with many years of experience in diagnosing shoulder problems. He will conduct a thorough examination, testing the range of motion, areas of pain, as well as strengths and weaknesses of the shoulder joint. A complete patient history will help in obtaining a proper diagnosis. Often, a variety of tests may be utilized to determine the extent of muscle and tendon damage. Tests include X-rays an MRI and an in-office ultrasound, which can pin-point the torn tendon and possible complications.