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Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff is the group of tendons in the shoulder joint providing support and enabling wider range of motion.

Major injury to these tendons may result in tear of these tendons and the condition is called as rotator cuff tear. It is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in middle aged adults and older individuals.

Rotator cuff tear causes severe pain, weakness of the arm, and crackling sensation on moving shoulder in certain positions. There may be stiffness, swelling, loss of movements, and tenderness in the front of the shoulder.

It may occur with repeated use of arm for over head activities, while playing sports or during motor accidents.

Rotator cuff tear is best viewed on magnetic resonance imaging.

Symptomatic relief may be obtained with conservative treatments – rest, shoulder sling, pain medications, steroidal injections and certain exercises. However surgery may be required in order to fix the torn tendon back to the shoulder bone. Rotator cuff repair may be performed by open surgery or an arthroscopic procedure. In an arthroscopy procedure space for rotator cuff tendons will be increased and the cuff tear is repaired sometimes using suture anchors. These anchoring sutures help in attaching the tendons to the shoulder bone. Following the surgery you will be advised to practice range of motion and strengthening exercises in a graduated fashion, usually with the help of physiotherapy.

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