Your Rotator Cuff – What Is It and What Does it Do?

Rotator cuff injury” — while many patients have heard the term before, not everyone knows what the condition entails or who’s at risk.  As one of today’s most common sports-related conditions, injures of the rotator cuff can not only be painful, but debilitating as well.  A situation many athletes — and non-athletes — will face in their lifetime, let’s take a brief look at what causes rotator cuff injuries and how modern orthopedic medicine can help.

Frequently Asked Questions about Rotator Cuffs:

  1. What is the rotator cuff? Located in your shoulder, the rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint – forming a “cuff” over the head of the humerus, or the upper arm.  Comprised of four main muscles, the rotator cuff connects the upper arm to the shoulder blade.
  2. What does the rotator cuff do? The rotator cuff essentially serves two main functions:  providing support and stability to the joint, and giving the arm its full range of motion.
  3. How can a rotator cuff become injured? Despite its importance, the rotator cuff is particularly susceptible to injury.  Injuries can be acute — resulting from a fall or heavy lifting — or it can be due to overuse.  This is particularly common in those who perform repetitive overhead movements, such as swimmers, baseball players, tennis players, wrestlers and others.
  4. How do I know if I’ve sustained a rotator cuff  injury? A rotator cuff tear will generally present pain in front of your shoulder, which can travel down your arm.  Many patients also experience weakness in the shoulder, making even routine activities a challenge.
  5. How are rotator cuff injuries treated? If you believe you’ve experienced a rotator cuff injury, it’s important to consult with an orthopedic specialist as quickly as possible.  Many rotator cuff injuries can  be treated non-surgically, with the use of anti-inflammatory medications, cortisteroid injections, and physical or occupational therapy.  If the tear is more severe, rotator cuff surgery may be the only option.

Orthopedic Surgeon in Worcester

To learn more about the rotator cuff injury triggers and treatments, contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Worcester, and you can reach us at (508) 363-6363.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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123 Summer St.
Suite 520
Worcester, MA 01608

Tel: 508.363.6363

123 Summer St. Suite 520, Worcester, MA 01608 508.363.6363