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Your shoulder’s rotator cuff keeps your upper arm bone (humerus) in your shoulder socket. The tendons in the rotator cuff can tear from either an injury or degeneration.
A rotator cuff tear means one or more tendons no longer fully attach to the head of the humerus. A rotator cuff injury will weaken your shoulder and cause pain during sports and daily activities. A tear is a common injury, and our orthopedic specialists are experts in all forms of treatment.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder joint in place. It attaches the humerus to the shoulder blade, and enables you to lift your arm and rotate it.
A rotator cuff tear can happen from an acute injury, such as falling on an outstretched arm. It can also happen from degeneration due to repetitive activities or aging.
If you think you may have torn your rotator cuff, or you have received a referral for orthopedic care, make an appointment with a UCHealth provider so we can help. This is an injury that we treat frequently in athletes and people of all ages.
We will develop a personalized rotator cuff repair plan with you that will get you back to the activities you love, including sports.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, almost two million people a year in the U.S. visit a doctor because of a rotator cuff problem. There are two different types of tears:
The type of tear determines the severity of symptoms, which can include:
Most tears in young adults are caused by a traumatic injury, but there are other risk factors that we commonly see:
Your provider will take your complete health history and conduct a physical exam, and you may also need diagnostic tests, such as:
Based on this, your provider will develop the right treatment plan for your injury and lifestyle.
For the majority of our patients, nonsurgical treatment successfully relieves pain and improves function, which may include:
Your doctor may recommend surgical treatment based on your diagnosis, or if nonsurgical methods aren’t adequately relieving your pain. UCHealth specialists have deep experience in any procedure you might need, including:
Fortunately, many of our patients need only physical therapy and other nonsurgical treatments—and they’re fully active again in four to six weeks. If you need surgery, recovery will take three to six months, depending on the procedure.
We’re here to help you overcome a rotator cuff tear and get back to the activities that make you healthy and happy.