Rotator Cuff Tear
A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. In 2008, close to 2 million people in the United States went to their doctors because of a rotator cuff problem. A torn rotator cuff will weaken your shoulder. This means that many daily activities, like combing your hair or getting dressed, may become painful and difficult to do.
The rotator cuff consists of a set of muscles that attach the shoulder blade (scapula) to the upper arm (humerus). A rotator cuff tear occurs when one or more of the rotator cuff tendons are torn (the tendon no longer fully attaches to the head of the humerus bone). In many cases, torn tendons begin by fraying. As the damage progresses, the tendon can completely tear, sometimes with lifting a heavy object. Symptoms associated with rotator cuff tears include pain at rest and at night (particularly if lying on the affected shoulder), pain when lifting and lowering your arm or with specific movements, weakness when lifting or rotating your arm, and a cracking sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions.
The goals of treatment for rotator cuff tears are to reduce pain and restore function. There are several treatment options for a rotator cuff tear, and the best option is different for every person. In planning your treatment, your doctor will consider your age, activity level, general health, and the type of tear your have.