Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Everything you ever wanted to know about a small rotator cuff tear but were too afraid to ask.
Let's just say your MRI scan returned showing a small to moderate sized rotator cuff tear in your shoulder. In addition to this, you have some arthritis in the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder blade, known as the acromioclavicular or AC joint. What now? What does this all mean? First, you probably want to know what a rotator cuff is: The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that attach to the top of your arm bone and allow you to lift your arm overhead.  So, what is a tear? Rotator cuff tears can be the result of a specific injury or the can present as progressively worsening arm and shoulder pain over the course of a few months. Pain with overhead activity, weakness, and difficulty sleeping on the affected shoulder are all common complaints of patients with rotator cuff tears. Unfortunately tears of the tendons of the rotator cuff do not heal. Current data suggests that these tears do extend, get larger with age, and eventually, even if they become asymptomatic; become symptomatic again in the future. The nature ...