Rotator cuff tears are common, affecting as many as 2 million people every year in the United States. This type of injury can make it difficult for you to use your shoulder, which may significantly affect your quality of life. At The Regenerative Medicine Clinic in Wilmington, North Carolina, orthopedic surgeon and regenerative orthopedist, Austin Yeargan III MD, uses simple, natural treatments to heal your rotator cuff tear. For an in-office or telemedicine appointment, contact the office by phone or online today.
Your rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that come together to form a group of tendons that cover the top of your humerus (upper arm bone). Your rotator cuff is responsible for keeping your arm in your shoulder socket. The tough, fibrous tissue also makes it possible for you to lift and rotate your arm.
A rotator cuff tear refers to a tear in one or more of the tendons that make up your rotator cuff. This type of tear means the tendons are no longer fully attached to your humerus.
You can develop a rotator cuff tear after an injury or from degeneration of the tissue. Your rotator tear is classified based on the underlying cause, which includes:
An acute tear refers to a rotator cuff tear that occurs after an injury. You may tear the tissue after a fall onto an outstretched arm or from lifting something too heavy.
Degenerative rotator cuff tears are more common than acute rotator cuff tears. As you get older, your rotator cuff begins to wear down, making it more vulnerable to injury and tearing.
You may be at greater risk of developing a degenerative rotator cuff tear if you engage in activities that require repetitive use of your shoulder, such as tennis or weight lifting.
Pain in your shoulder, whether at rest or when in use, is the most common symptom of a rotator cuff tear. You may also notice weakness in your arm and shoulder and experience a crackling sensation when you move your arm.
After an acute rotator cuff tear, the pain may be sudden and intense, making it difficult to miss. However, pain from a degenerative rotator cuff tear may be more of a chronic dull ache, and you may be more likely to ignore it.
Continued use of your arm after you’ve torn your rotator cuff may worsen the injury and you should have your shoulder evaluated right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to prevent further damage.
Dr. Yeargan takes a simple and natural approach to the treatment of rotator cuff tears. Your treatment plan may include:
If these measures fail to improve your rotator cuff tear, Dr. Yeargan may suggest regenerative medicine with stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These injections may assist in healing the tear and prevent your need for more invasive procedures, such as surgery.
For management of your rotator cuff tear, contact The Regenerative Medicine Clinic by phone or online today.