If you work a grueling job in construction or participate in sports, you’re also more likely to experience a rotator cuff injury. Though common, rotator cuff injuries can negatively affect your shoulder’s range of mobility, making it difficult to reach, lift, or throw. At NJOSM Clinic in Clifton, New Jersey, orthopedic surgeon Omar Khatib, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of rotator cuff problems. To schedule an appointment, book online or call the office today.
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that surround your shoulder joint, holding the head of your upper arm bone inside its socket. It allows you to perform a wide range of motions, including reaching and throwing and lifting your arms above your head.
Your rotator cuffs are incredibly hardworking and durable, but they’re also susceptible to injury. This is especially true if you work a physically demanding job, are an athlete, or you’re age 60 or older.
Common signs associated with a rotator cuff injury include:
Minor rotator cuff injuries usually respond to conservative, at-home treatments, but if your shoulder pain persists or gets worse, don’t wait to seek professional medical help.
There’s no way to prevent a rotator cuff injury entirely, but you can significantly lower your risk by participating in shoulder strengthening exercises. Many people work the muscles in the front of their arms and chest, but it’s equally important to strengthen the muscles at the back of your shoulder. If you have questions about how to do this, Dr. Khatib can recommend exercises.
To diagnose a rotator cuff injury Dr. Khatib reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and conducts a physical exam. He gently presses on different parts of your shoulder to feel for areas of swelling, warmth, or discomfort. Then he has you move your arm into different positions to test your muscle strength.
If an exam doesn’t provide adequate information to make a diagnosis, Dr. Khatib orders X-rays or an MRI. These diagnostic imaging tests provide detailed pictures of your bones, joints, and soft tissues.
Dr. Khatib typically recommends conservative treatments to address rotator cuff injuries, including ice and rest, over-the-counter pain medication, and physical therapy. If your symptoms get worse, or they interfere with your mobility, surgery may be necessary.
There are several types of surgery used to treat rotator cuff injuries, including arthroscopic tendon repair, open tendon repair, tendon transfer, and shoulder replacement. The goal of surgery is to restore your full range of motion while limiting pain.
If you regularly experience rotator cuff pain, schedule an appointment at NJOSM Clinic. Book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.