Rotator Cuff Disease
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
- What is the rotator cuff?
- What causes rotator cuff disease?
- How is the rotator cuff injured?
- What are symptoms of rotator cuff disease?
- How is rotator cuff disease diagnosed?
- How is rotator cuff disease treated?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for rotator cuff disease?
- Can rotator cuff disease be prevented?
- Rotator cuff disease facts
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What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff is the group of four tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. The tendons hook up to the four muscles that move the shoulder in various directions.
There are four muscles whose tendons form the rotator cuff: the subscapularis muscle, which moves the arm by turning it inward (internal rotation); the supraspinatus muscle, which is responsible for elevating the arm and moving it away from the body; the infraspinatus muscle, which assists the lifting of the arm during turning the arm outward (external rotation); and the teres minor muscle, which also helps in the outward turning of the arm.
What causes rotator cuff disease?
Rotator cuff disease is damage to the rotator cuff from any cause. It can be from an acute injury or from repetitive strains. This condition is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain.
How is the rotator cuff injured?
The rotator cuff can be injured because of degeneration with aging or inflammation due to tendinitis, bursitis, or arthritis of the shoulder. The rotator cuff is commonly injured by trauma (such as from falling and injuring the shoulder or overuse in sports). Rotator cuff injury is particularly common in people who perform repetitive overhead motions that can stress the rotator cuff. These motions are frequently associated with muscle fatigue.
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