Shoulder Conditions - Rotator Cuff Tears

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles (the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis) that cover the head of the humerus and hold it securely inside the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff tears can be caused by traumatic injury, such as a dislocation of the shoulder or repetitive motions, especially from sports such as baseball or tennis. The most common cause of rotator cuff tears, however, is age and natural wear and tear as we get older.

Symptoms include pain and weakness when lifting or lowering the arm, atrophy of the shoulder muscles, and a crackling sensation when the shoulder is moved. Treatment options include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, strengthening exercises, and use of a sling. In active people with pain, surgery is generally advised as the tendon once torn will not heal on its own and the tear can become larger and more debilitating over time