Rotator Cuff Tear

Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine -  - Orthopaedic Surgery

Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine

Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located throughout Greater Cincinnati, OH

If you develop shoulder pain and have trouble moving your arm, chances are you have a rotator cuff tear. The physicians at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine have extensive experience developing customized treatments that ensure you regain maximum strength and arm function. The practice has four locations in Cincinnati, as well as offices in Oxford, Sardinia, and West Chester, Ohio. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call the office that’s most convenient for you.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is the Rotator Cuff?

The rotator cuff sounds like it’s one structure, but it’s made up of a group of four muscles and their tendons. These soft tissues are responsible for holding your upper arm in place in your shoulder socket and stabilizing the shoulder, all while allowing full range of motion.

What Causes a Rotator Cuff Tear?

When a tear appears in the rotator cuff, it’s usually in one of the tendons that attach the muscles to your upper arm. This type of injury is often due to:

  • Acute Injury: You may tear your rotator cuff by falling onto your arm or while lifting a heavy object. It also frequently tears when you sustain a dislocated shoulder or another shoulder injury.
  • Degenerative Tears: Your rotator cuff can gradually tear due to repetitive movements that wear down the tissues. Bone spurs can also cause degeneration as they rub against soft tissues.


What Symptoms Develop Due to a Rotator Cuff Tear?

An acute rotator cuff tear generally causes severe pain and arm weakness. Symptoms caused by a degenerative tear develop slowly over time, and you may experience problems such as:

  • Pain when moving your arm
  • Pain while laying on the affected side
  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
  • Crackling sensations when moving your arm


Because you use your arms so often, rotator cuff tears are known for getting progressively worse, leading to increasing pain, weakness, and shoulder instability.

How are Rotator Cuff Tears Treated?

Your doctor at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine develops a customized treatment plan based on the severity of your injury. Your plan may include rest, modifying your activities, immobilization, and physical therapy.

When your pain is too severe, a steroid injection targeted to reach the damaged tissues can help by significantly reducing inflammation. Some patients may be good candidates for regenerative medicine options like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to accelerate healing.

Your doctor may recommend surgery when you have a severe tear, your symptoms don’t improve, or you need to restore optimal strength. Surgery is especially beneficial for patients who need maximum strength to perform their sports or job activities.

In most cases, your doctor can repair a torn rotator cuff using minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. Since arthroscopy uses a few small incisions, muscle damage is minimized or spared, you have less postoperative pain, and your recovery is quicker.

Don’t wait to seek help for shoulder pain or limited arm movement. Schedule an appointment today by calling Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine or using the online booking tool.