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Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist

Central Jersey Hand Surgery

Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeons located in Eatontown, NJ & Freehold, NJ

Every year about 2 million Americans visit their doctor because of a rotator cuff tear. The injury may cause pain and affect shoulder function. The board-certified orthopedic physicians at Central Jersey Hand Surgery in Freehold, Eatontown, and Toms River, New Jersey, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of rotator cuff tears. For an evaluation and treatment plan, call the office that is most convenient to you, or book an appointment online today.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that keep your shoulder in place. In addition to helping keep the joint in place, your rotator cuff also supports shoulder mobility, allowing you to move your arm in a range of directions. 

What is a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear describes a tear in one of the tendons that helps keep your shoulder joint in place. The tear may weaken the shoulder and cause pain.

You can develop a rotator cuff tear after an acute injury, such as a fall on the shoulder. However, the tear in the tissue is more likely to occur as you get older due to the general degeneration of the tendon that occurs over time. 

Your rotator cuff tear may be partial or complete. 

What are rotator cuff tear symptoms?

Rotator cuff tear symptoms vary depending on the type of tear you have and your daily activities. Common symptoms include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Decrease in shoulder use
  • Pain when moving your shoulder
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Inflammation

When left untreated, your rotator cuff tear may affect the general structure of your shoulder joint and lead to shoulder arthritis. 

How is a rotator cuff tear diagnosed?

When you visit Central Jersey Hand Surgery for a rotator cuff tear evaluation, the orthopedic experts conduct a comprehensive evaluation so you get the right diagnosis and most effective treatment plan. 

During your exam, your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, and daily activities, and then examines your shoulder. To confirm or rule out a diagnosis, the team may request X-rays or an MRI.

In some cases, the team may perform a shoulder arthroscopy to diagnose a rotator cuff tear. During the minimally invasive procedure, your orthopedic surgeon inserts an arthroscope (a tube-like instrument with a light and camera) through a tiny incision in your shoulder.

The arthroscope transmits images of your shoulder onto a computer screen, which allows your orthopedic surgeon to more closely evaluate your rotator cuff for a definitive diagnosis. Your provider may repair the tear during the procedure. 

How is a rotator cuff tear treated?

Treatment for your rotator cuff tear may depend on the severity of your symptoms, medical history, and general activity. The goal of treatment is to alleviate your pain and improve shoulder function.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Rest and ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Activity modification
  • Steroid injection

If nonsurgical treatments fail to alleviate your pain, the team may recommend arthroscopic shoulder surgery to repair your rotator cuff tear.

To schedule a consultation with the experienced team at Central Jersey Hand Surgery, call the office or book an appointment online today.