Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator Cuff Tear services offered in Burlingame, CA

Searing shoulder pain could indicate a rotator cuff tear. At Burlingame Orthopedics in Burlingame, California, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Richard Han, MD, and his highly trained team diagnose and treat rotator cuff tears to ease pain and restore the shoulder joint’s structure and function. Schedule a shoulder evaluation at Burlingame Orthopedics by calling the office or requesting one online today. 

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear is a shoulder joint injury that makes it hard to raise your arm. Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles in your shoulder that allow you to move your arm. These tissues also help secure your upper arm bone in its shoulder blade socket.

You’ve suffered a rotator cuff tear when the tendons pull away from your arm bone. The injury is a partial (or incomplete) rotator cuff tear when a tendon remains partially attached to your arm bone. A complete tear happens when the tendon completely separates from the bone.

More than 2 million people in the United States experience rotator cuff problems each year.

Which symptoms does a rotator cuff tear cause?

Symptoms of rotator cuff tears include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Struggling to lift things
  • Difficulty raising or moving your arm
  • Ongoing pain
  • Clicking, crackling, or popping sounds when moving your arm
  • Shoulder discomfort that gets worse at night
  • Deep aching
  • Stabbing pain

The pain can be mild or severe. Your discomfort might appear as a sudden sharp pain or a dull ache that worsens. See the Burlingame Orthopedics experts at the first sign of a shoulder problem.

What are the risk factors for rotator cuff tears?

Things that increase the risk of tearing your rotator cuff include:

  • Falls
  • Wear-and-tear associated with age
  • Being over 40
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Bone spurs
  • Overuse injury
  • Decreased blood flow
  • Playing sports
  • Repetitive shoulder movements
  • Family history of rotator cuff problems
  • Smoking
  • Poor posture
  • Physically demanding job
  • Heavy lifting

Professional athletes, carpenters, painters, and mechanics have a higher risk of rotator cuff tears.

How does my orthopedic specialist diagnose a rotator cuff tear?

The Burlingame Orthopedics team diagnoses a rotator cuff tear after discussing your medical history, completing a physical exam, asking about your symptoms, and completing diagnostic tests. You could undergo X-rays, an MRI, an ultrasound, or shoulder arthroscopy. Your provider personalizes a treatment plan for you.

How are rotator cuff tears treated?

Burlingame Orthopedics provides the following treatments for rotator cuff tears:

  • Physical therapy
  • Slings
  • Medication to minimize swelling
  • Joint injections
  • Arthroscopic shoulder surgery
  • Debridement
  • Reverse shoulder replacement
  • Tendon transfer

Burlingame Orthopedics offers CT scan guidance during shoulder replacement surgery.

After shoulder surgery, you must wear a sling to immobilize your joint during the healing process before beginning physical therapy.

Schedule a rotator cuff tear evaluation at Burlingame Orthopedics by phone or request one online today.