Most of us know someone who’s had rotator cuff problems at some point. But have you ever wondered why? This unique structure in your shoulder involves four different muscles whose tendons form a strong cuff-like structure over your joint. Their job is to hold your upper arm in place, provide stability, and enable movements like lifting and rotating.
Because of this important and precise job, you can develop a wide range of unpleasant symptoms if your rotator cuff sustains damage. So when do you need surgery?
Dr. Jared Tadje brings his experience in arthroscopic surgery to people in Meridian, Idaho. Here are a few reasons you could need to schedule an appointment for rotator cuff repair at Tadje Orthopaedics.
Rotator cuff injuries
While it’s possible to sustain trauma to the shoulder that causes a rotator cuff injury, they often develop because of wear and tear or degeneration of tendon tissue. As a result, several factors can increase your chances of having rotator cuff problems, including:
- Being over 60
- Frequent overhead use of shoulder,
- Recent shoulder injuries
Signs of a rotator cuff injury often include a dull, deep ache in the shoulder. It’s also common to experience difficulty raising your arm or reaching behind your back, arm weakness, or disturbed sleep.
Without treatment, rotator cuff problems can worsen, leading to more pain, lost range of motion, and decreased shoulder strength. To avoid rotator cuff surgery in the future, you should see your doctor at the first sign of symptoms.
Treating rotator cuff injuries
It’s important to note that not all rotator cuff problems require surgical repair. In fact, many people can manage their symptoms through more conservative methods, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Steroid injections
- Regenerative treatments, like PRP
- Physical therapy
However, if you find your symptoms worsening or interfering with your daily life, surgery could be the best solution. Whenever possible, Dr. Tadje uses minimally invasive arthroscopic repair techniques to repair your tendon. But, depending on the extent of damage, you could need a mini-open repair or open repair procedure instead.
Unlike arthroscopic procedures performed with small incisions and special tools, these repairs use larger incisions to Access your shoulder joint, remove damage, and repair your tendons.
When to consider rotator cuff repair
Several factors play a role in whether or not you should undergo rotator cuff surgery, such as:
- Persistent pain
- Symptoms lasting six months or longer
- Weakness or loss of shoulder function
- A tear from an acute injury
- A large tendon tear
- Failure to respond to more conservative treatments
Dr. Tadje could also recommend rotator cuff repair for active individuals who need to use the affected arm for work or sports. For example, house painters, swimmers, or pitchers. Dr. Tadje also has training in both operative and nonoperative treatments of sports medicine injuries, so he can provide personal recommendations on a case-by-case basis.
If you have shoulder symptoms due to your rotator cuff, don't wait to seek treatment. Contact our office by calling 208-231-7851 or book an appointment online today.