Living With Rotator Cuff Injuries in Philadelphia? Here Are Four Steps You Can Take For Relief

Joseph A. Abboud, MD May 8th, 2019

At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, We Specialize at Treating Rotator Cuff Injuries

You might associate rotator cuff injuries with baseball and softball pitchers or tennis players. However, these injuries are more common among people over the age of 40 from traumatic and atraumatic causes. While it’s true that repetitive stress from pitching a ball or swinging a racket is a source of rotator cuff tears, there are many other sources of stress that can cause rotator cuff injuries in Philadelphia.

Patients may tear their rotator cuffs by lifting something heavy or breaking a fall with their hands. Non-athletes may experience rotator cuff injuries from doing repetitive work that involves a great deal of lifting, overhead motions, or general stress on the upper arms and shoulders.

Whether you’re an athlete, a craftsman, or a patient from any walk of life who has surpassed their physical limits, a rotator cuff injury can derail your healthy, active lifestyle. Rotator cuff tears can be notably painful—but symptoms extend beyond just shoulder pain. These injuries can cause a loss of strength and range of motion that interferes with your ability to perform routine activities and/or sleep.

The first questions patients with rotator cuff injuries ask are what the best options for treatment are and what treatment methods present the best possible chance to regain use of the shoulder. Fortunately, the doctors at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute have elite experience treating rotator cuff injuries in Philadelphia. They will be able to recommend the most effective treatment option for your particular injury and patient profile.

Rotator Cuff Injuries and Symptoms

The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of four muscles. When functioning properly, these muscles help to hold the shoulder in place and power shoulder movement. When one or more of the muscles and tendons have been torn (either from a traumatic injury to the shoulder or from repeated use), moving the arm becomes painful and more difficult. Symptoms of rotator cuff tears include:

  • Pain in the shoulder, especially when in motion or when pressure is applied

  • Pain at night or during sleep

  • Weakness in the affected arm

  • Swelling in the shoulder joint

  • Crackling or grinding sounds and sensations in the shoulder when the arm is moved or rotated

If you have been experiencing these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with a qualified shoulder specialist immediately to properly diagnose the problem. At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, our Shoulder specialists have unmatched expertise diagnosing and treating rotator cuff tear injuries. Following a physical examination and an official diagnosis, your physician at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute will compose a personalized treatment plan that will effectively address your injury and help you to meet your recovery goals.

Rotator Cuff Injuries in Philadelphia: Four Treatment Steps to Ask Your Doctor About

If you or someone you love have experienced a rotator cuff injury, don’t despair. There are effective treatments that can restore your healthy, normal life—many of which are entirely non-operative. It’s important to talk to your doctor about which treatment options would be most effective based on your age, level of activity, health needs, and the nature of the trauma to your shoulder.

At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, we understand that rotator cuff treatments are not one-size-fits-all. That’s why we encourage you to ask your doctor about different treatment options so that you can determine what will best meet your particular needs. Listed below are four treatment options that may provide relief and support recovery following a rotator cuff injury in Philadelphia.

  1. Medication
    Over-the-counter pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can reduce inflammation and enable healing of the affected rotator cuff.

  2. Physical Therapy
    Physical therapy and prescribed stretches can encourage muscle and connective tissue growth and regrowth. Physical therapy regimens will typically include strength-building and flexibility-increasing exercise routines to help prevent future tears.

  3. Steroidal Injections
    Injections of cortisone are used sparingly. They may benefit pain but not any healing. We strongly recommend against the repeated use of cortisone injections as they can weaken tissue and decrease healing response if surgery becomes necessary.

  4. Surgery
    If you have experienced a high-severity tear of the rotator cuff or do not respond to non-operative treatment, rotator cuff surgery may be advised to repair damaged muscles and tendons and prevent future tears.

For those suffering from rotator cuff tears, these treatments can help alleviate pain and restore strength and range of motion.

The treatment that is recommended to you will depend upon your age, health, injury pattern and your lifestyle. If you have experienced an acute injury (such as a fall or lifting accident) or if an overuse injury from overhead or athletic shoulder work, your doctor may prescribe surgical treatment to repair the tear. On the other hand, if you have minimal pain and do not use your shoulder regularly for high-impact lifting, twisting, or reaching overhead, your physician will typically recommend non-operative care first.

Make an Appointment at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute

If you’ve been living with symptoms of pain and weakness following a rotator cuff injury in Philadelphia, the doctors at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute can provide you with the specialized care you need. With convenient locations, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute physicians are easy to reach. More importantly, their expertise in treating shoulder patients is unparalleled.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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