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Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment Options

How are rotator cuff tears treated?

Treatment for rotator cuff injuries aims to address the underlying pathology, alleviate symptoms, and restore optimal function to the shoulder joint. The chosen treatment plan depends on factors such as the severity of the injury, the patient’s age, activity level, overall health, and specific characteristics of the injury.

What non-operative options are available?

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Avoiding activities that worsen symptoms and modifying movement patterns to reduce stress on the shoulder.
  • Pain Management: Utilizing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, or physical therapy modalities to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Engaging in targeted exercises to strengthen muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, improve stability, and enhance range of motion.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Tailored exercises focusing on the rotator cuff muscles, deltoids, and scapular stabilizers to enhance shoulder function and reduce symptoms.

What operative options are available?

  • Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: Minimally invasive surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff tendon using sutures or anchors, aiming to restore stability and function to the shoulder joint and promote healing.
  • Open Rotator Cuff Repair: In cases where the tear is extensive or complex, traditional open surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon.
  • Rotator Cuff Reconstruction: In severe cases where the rotator cuff tissue is significantly damaged, techniques such as graft augmentation or tendon transfers may be used to reconstruct the tendon.

What does rehabilitation look like?

  • Structured Physical Therapy: A rehabilitation program focusing on strengthening, range of motion exercises, and gradual return to activities.
  • Patient Education: Providing guidance on proper shoulder mechanics, activity modification, and lifestyle adjustments to support long-term shoulder health and prevent recurrence of injury.

In conclusion, managing rotator cuff injuries requires a personalized approach that considers various factors. By addressing the underlying cause and implementing appropriate treatment and rehabilitation strategies, individuals with rotator cuff injuries can achieve pain relief and improved shoulder function.

Dr. Shane J. Nho is a board-certified fellowship trained sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of rotator cuff tears. If you believe you are affected by a rotator cuff tear, schedule a consultation today with our experienced orthopaedic care team.

At a Glance

Dr. Shane Nho

  • Board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon
  • Team Physician for Chicago Bulls, White Sox, Steel
  • Performs more than 700 procedures each year
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