Rotator Cuff Injury
(Rotator Cuff Tear; Impingement Syndrome)
|Rotator Cuff Injury|
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- Direct blow to the shoulder area
- Falling on an outstretched arm
Chronic degenerative wear and tear on the tendons:
- Arthritis may decrease the space for the tendons
- Chronic instability of the humerus may traumatize the tendons
Repetitive overhead motion of the arm such as in:
- Baseball (mainly pitching)
- Age: 40 or older
- Heavy lifting
- Abnormalities of the shoulder, or in rotator cuff anatomy or function
- Activities that involve repetitive overhead arm motion such as throwing or work related
- Weakened shoulder muscles from inactivity or previous injury
- Recurrent, constant pain, particularly when reaching overhead
- Pain at night that prevents you from sleeping
- Shoulder muscle weakness, especially when lifting the arm
- Popping or clicking sounds when the shoulder is moved
- Limited range of motion in the shoulder joint
- Rest—to help the shoulder heal. The doctor may recommend that you wear an arm sling to help rest the shoulder area.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—to help control the pain if there is inflammation
- Topical pain medicines (such as creams or patches) that are applied to the skin
- Corticosteroid injections—to help reduce swelling and pain
- Injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) to reduce bleeding
- Ice—to help reduce swelling and pain. Apply ice to shoulder area for 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.
- Physical therapy—to help strengthen and increase motion in the shoulder area
- Avoid overhead repetitive motion
- Limit duration of work that involves
- Moving hands above shoulders
- Using shoulder in extreme outward rotation
- Vibrating tools
- Avoid heavy lifting
- Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
The University of British Columbia Department of Orthopaedics http://orthopaedics.med.ubc.ca
Castricini R, et al. Platelet-rich plasma augmentation for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Sports Med. 2011 Feb;39(2):258-65.
Deu RS. Common Sports Injuries: Upper Extremity Injuries. Clin Fam Pract. 2005 Jun; 7(2); 249-265.
Rotator cuff tear. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com. Updated May 28, 2012. Accessed October 23, 2012.
Smith MA, Smith WT. Rotator cuff tears: an overview. Orthop Nurs. 2010;29(5):319-322
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD
- Review Date: 10/2012 -
- Update Date: 10/31/2012 -