Rotator Cuff (cont.)
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.
In this Article
- Rotator cuff disease facts
- What is the rotator cuff?
- What causes rotator cuff disease?
- What are risk factors for rotator cuff disease?
- How is the rotator cuff injured?
- What are rotator cuff disease symptoms and signs?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose rotator cuff disease?
- What is the treatment for rotator cuff disease?
- Are there home remedies for rotator cuff disease?
- What are complications of rotator cuff disease?
- What specialists treat rotator cuff disease?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for rotator cuff disease?
- Is it possible to prevent rotator cuff disease?
- Take the Pain Quiz
- First Aid Sprains & Strains Slideshow
- Chronic Pain Slideshow
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
What is the treatment for rotator cuff disease?
The treatment of rotator cuff disease depends on the severity of the injury to the tendons of the rotator cuff and the underlying condition of the patient.
Mild rotator cuff disease is treated with ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin] and others). Generally, physical therapy using gradual exercise rehabilitation is instituted. Exercises are used that are specifically designed for rotator-cuff strengthening.
Patients with persistent pain and motion limitation can often benefit by a cortisone injection around the rotator cuff. Repeat injections may be necessary.
More severe rotator cuff disease can require surgical repair.
Subacromial decompression is the removal of a small portion of the bone (acromion) and soft tissues (bursa) that surround the rotator cuff. This removal can relieve pressure on the rotator cuff in certain conditions and promote healing and recovery. This procedure can be done by arthroscopic or open surgical techniques. Both methods have been reported to be equally successful.
The most severe rotator cuff disease, complete full-thickness rotator cuff tears, usually requires surgery for the best results. These procedures, which can also be done by either arthroscopy or open surgery, involve mending the torn rotator cuff by suturing the tissues back together. Ultimately, recovery from rotator cuff disease often requires extended physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Are there home remedies for rotator cuff disease?
Mild rotator cuff disease is treated with cold packs, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen and others). It is essential to avoid reinjuring the shoulder by avoiding activities that stress the joint.
Learn more about: ibuprofen
What are complications of rotator cuff disease?
The most serious complication of rotator cuff disease is frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder is a result of scarring that occurs around the inflamed joint and leads to loss of range of motion and function of the joint. Frozen shoulder is also referred to as adhesive capsulitis.
What specialists treat rotator cuff disease?
Specialists who treat rotator cuff disease include generalists, including general practitioners, family practitioners, and internists, as well as orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, rheumatologists, and physical therapists.
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