Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

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An Overview on Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

The shoulder joint is a complex, unique arrangement of muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. Shoulder pain is one of the most common health conditions experienced by individuals, including rotator cuff pain. The rotator cuff is composed of four tendons and is responsible for controlling the arm’s rotation and elevation. Rotator cuff tendonitis can be the cause of shoulder pain in many active individuals. Shoulder specialist serving the greater Austin, Texas communities, Dr. Jeff Padalecki specializes in treating and diagnosing rotator cuff pain associated with rotator cuff tendonitis.

Rotator cuff tendonitis is commonly caused by repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing or lifting, or a rotator cuff injury. Classified as an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons along with an inflammation of the bursa, this type of shoulder tendonitis is quite common and typically considered one of the mildest forms of a rotator cuff injury.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Symptoms

Rotator cuff pain, commonly radiating from the outer arm to several inches below the top of the shoulder, is the classic symptom of this type of shoulder tendonitis. Rotator cuff tendonitis symptoms also include pain and swelling in the front of the shoulder, loss of mobility, shoulder stiffness and pain when raising and lowering the arm.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Diagnostic Testing

Dr. Padalecki will perform a careful physical examination to determine the exact location of discomfort if a patient is experiencing rotator cuff pain. He will also test the shoulder’s strength and range of motion during the exam. In many cases, an X-ray or MRI scan may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis of shoulder tendonitis.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Treatment

The initial treatment for rotator cuff tendonitis for most patients involves managing rotator cuff pain and swelling by modifying activities, using ice and taking anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Dr. Padalecki may also recommend a physical therapy rehabilitation program to help restore strength and range of motion to the shoulder.

If rotator cuff tendonitis symptoms are not alleviated by non-surgical treatments or if the injury is too severe, Dr. Padalecki may recommend a surgical approach. Surgery is commonly performed to remove a prominence on the acromion’s undersurface, to repair a tear in the tendons surrounding the rotator cuff or to remove an inflamed, thickened bursal tissue.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Post-Op

Depending on the nature of the rotator cuff injury and the surgical repair used by Dr. Padalecki, patients will be prescribed a set of rehabilitation guidelines to use with a physical therapist. Physical therapy is mandatory in order to return the patient to full shoulder function. Most patients have good results and typically regain full range of motion and mobility in the shoulder joint after completing the program.

For more resources on rotator cuff pain caused by rotator cuff tendonitis, contact the Austin, Texas orthopedic office of Dr. Jeff Padalecki – shoulder specialist.