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Rotator Cuff Tear: Patient Guide

rotator cuff tear

The rotator cuff refers to a group of tendons in the shoulder. The purpose of the rotator cuff is to help stabilize and move the shoulder joint. A rotator cuff tear can occur due to injury, for example, when playing sport, or it may also occur because the tendons have been worn down over time. 

Here at LMcG Orthopaedics, one of the many injuries that Dr McGonagle treats is rotator cuff tears. Our Geraldton team has therefore created a patient guide to further explain this injury and help you better understand the potential causes, symptoms, treatments and shoulder surgery.

Rotator cuff tear symptoms

Rotator cuff tears become more common as you get older. Sometimes you won’t necessarily feel a torn rotator cuff—but some common symptoms to look out for include:

·      Weakness in your shoulder

·      Issues or pain when raising your arm

·      Difficulty lifting items

·      Pain when lying on your shoulder

What causes a rotator cuff tear?

The rotator cuff may tear from an injury, such as a fall, or trying to lift a heavy object overhead. They can also tear through degeneration and aging of the tissues. 

Rotator cuff tear treatments & shoulder surgery

Depending on the extent of the rotator cuff tear, potential treatments include rest, rehabilitation or shoulder surgery. It is important to seek professional treatment as soon as possible to ensure you aren’t further damaging your shoulder. Shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff involves reattaching the tendon to the top of the humerus bone. After surgery you will see a physiotherapist and slowly get the shoulder moving again. The rehabilitation process takes several months. This allows the tendon healing process to mature fully and to minimize the risk of re-tear. 

Here at LMcG Orthopaedics, Dr McGonagle regularly assists patients suffering from shoulder injuries, including the common rotator cuff tear. For more information, please get in touch with our Geraldton clinic today on 08 9921 4847

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