dr hardy singh, raleigh north carolina best orthopedic surgeon for rotator cuff tears, shoulder surgeryThe rotator cuff is the main muscle and tendon group that provides joint stability to your shoulder. It keeps your shoulder in the socket and is composed of four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.   

The four muscles come together as tendons and attach the humerus to the shoulder blade to help you lift and move your arm. When one or more of the tendons become torn, the tendons’ hold on the humerus is weakened and can potentially lead to a full-thickness tear.

Most rotator cuff tears are degenerative and are the result of normal wear and tear. They typically occur in the dominant arm and can be attributed to repetitive motions, lack of blood supply and bone spurs. The most common symptoms of a tear are:

  • Night pain or pain while resting
  • Weakness lifting or rotating your arm
  • A crackling sensation when moving your shoulder
  • Pain lifting or lowering your arm  

Treatment Options

The goal of any treatment option reduces pain and restore movement. A consultation with an orthopedic surgeon will determine the best treatment option.

Nearly half of all patients suffering from a tear will recuperate without surgery. Rest, activity modification, physical therapy, steroid injections, and ibuprofen may be prescribed by your doctor.

Surgery may be the best option if:

  • Your symptoms have lasted longer than six months
  • Your tear is greater than 3 cm
  • Your range of motion and strength are severely lessened
  • You were in a recent injury

The three most common surgical techniques include open repair, minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery, and mini-open repair. Your surgeon can discern the right procedure for you.