Rotator cuff ruptures can affect both young and old people but are more prevalent in middle and older age adults, and those that play professional sports, e.g., golf and swimming. It’s also one of the most common causes of shoulder pain, and in many cases, results in shoulder rotator cuff surgery.
What ss the Rotator Cuff?
The rotator cuff plays a major role in the function of our shoulder joint . It stabilizes the shoulder, centers the humerus in the shoulder joint, and is largely responsible for allowing us to move our arm so generously. A rotator cuff tear is a partial or complete tendon tear on the shoulder.
Causes of Rotator Cuff Tears
Damage and tears in the rotator cuff can have both traumatic or accidental, and non-traumatic causes. In young patients, injuries are mostly due to falls, and are more likely to lead to ruptured rotator cuff tears; Occasionally, this can lead to a bony tear of a tendon portion. In elderly patients, the tendon tissue is often already degenerative pre-damaged, and it is sufficiently prone to cause tears.
Non-traumatic damage to the rotator cuff often arises because of the degenerative aging process and can be felt as a partial or as a total rupture.
Tears without treatment lead to serious consequences, such as immobility of the shoulder and arthritis, therefore it’s vital to consult a doctor if you’re in pain.
Treatment of a rotator cuff injury or rupture depends on the severity. Partial ruptures are usually treated conservatively in elderly or sedentary patients. In many cases, there is very little pain, and rest and exercise can help the affected area. The typical therapy consists of pain treatment and early physiotherapy to avoid the risk of a “frozen shoulder”. This is where the shoulder suffers from stiffness and slowly feels numb.
In most cases the mobility of the shoulder is initially not mechanically limited, only the pain has a restrictive effect on movement. However, if a tear has exceeded a certain size and especially several muscles of the rotator cuff are affected, there is also a significant decrease in mobility.
The arm can sometimes be difficult to lift and if it becomes worse, a doctor will usually prescribe more invasive care. The age of the person affected, the general state of health as well as the personal demands of the patient on his shoulder in everyday life, work and sports must also be included in the therapy decision.
Major ruptures should not be left untreated for too long, as there is a risk of progression of the size of the tear, with consequent damage to the associated muscle. If the associated muscle is too severely damaged and the tendon is already pulled back too much, sometimes a suture is no longer possible.
After A Surgery
Outpatient rehabilitation allows patients to perform rehabilitation without sacrificing social endeavors. Depending on the needs of the individual patient, an individual rehab program is put together, according to the certified specialist.
The rotator cuff is an important protective shell for our shoulders, so it’s very important to see a doctor about any discomfort to ensure you have continued mobility.