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Rotator Cuff Surgeon

Rotator cuff surgeons care for people with various types of rotator cuff injuries, which are a common cause of shoulder pain and discomfort in adults.

Types of Rotator Cuff Injuries and Treatments

A rotator cuff surgeon assessing a patient's shoulder injury.

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint that connects the upper arm (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). They hold the shoulder joint’s "ball" (at the top of the humerus) in place in the socket (on the side of the scapula) while enabling rotation and movement.

There are several different types of rotator cuff injuries. They range from mild forms of tendonitis caused by overuse (common in competitive swimmers, for example) to a severely torn rotator cuff.

Rotator cuff treatment varies, depending on the specific type of injury, and may include physical therapy or anti-inflammatory pain medications. Rotator cuff surgery is usually performed when someone has persistent pain or weakness in the rotator cuff or has had a severe rotator cuff injury.

 

Such injuries include:

  • a partial or complete rotator cuff tear
  • a severe case of shoulder bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs between the bone and tissue)
  • an extreme case of tendonitis

Risk Factors for Rotator Cuff Tears and Injuries

Risk factors for rotator cuff injuries increase with age. However, these injuries are extremely common in athletes or people with active jobs that require repetitive movement, especially overhead movements such as high lifting.

If you suspect you have a rotator cuff injury, it’s important to work with a rotator cuff doctor to determine the type of rotator cuff injury you are experiencing. Treatment of your injury will depend on the specific injury or condition.

Not all rotator cuff injuries require surgery. In fact, a large number of rotator cuff injuries can be healed with anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections and/or physical therapy. However, for more severe tears or for active people who engage in sports or overhead work, surgery is often recommended.

Signs of a Rotator Cuff Injury

An injury to the rotator cuff can cause pain, aches or arm weakness and can limit range of motion. Rotator cuff injury symptoms may include:

  • shoulder pain or clicking when you move your arm or rest on your shoulder
  • shoulder pain at rest (this may be an indication of a more severe rotator cuff injury)
  • muscle weakness
  • pain when attempting to reach or lift
  • limited range of motion

When to See a Rotator Cuff Physician

Without treatment, rotator cuff problems may lead to permanent loss of motion or weakness of the shoulder joint. They can also result in progressive degeneration. The best way to recover and restore function if you’re experiencing persistent symptoms is to see a rotator cuff injury specialist.

Make an appointment if:

  • It hurts your shoulder to do the same activity over and over.
  • You’ve experienced a loss in range of motion in your shoulder.
  • Pain wakes you from sleep.
  • Pain is accompanied by swelling, redness or tenderness around the shoulder joint.

About HSS Florida Rotator Cuff Physicians and Surgeons

The rotator cuff specialists at HSS Florida in West Palm Beach work directly with each patient to personalize the best treatment plan for your injury and lifestyle. We have a full team of orthopedic experts specializing in the shoulder, including sports medicine doctors, orthopedic shoulder surgeons, physical therapists and sports performance specialists. We use this world-renowned musculoskeletal expertise to help reduce your pain, improve function and mobility and restore your quality of life.

If you are currently experiencing shoulder pain, or if your primary care doctor has recommended you consult a specialist, find the best shoulder surgeon or physician at HSS Florida for your condition. Meet our doctors.