The 4 tendons that move the shoulder joint are called rotator cuff tendons. These structures carry out the movement of the shoulder joint in different directions. Tears may occur in these tendons due to wear or trauma. These tears can cause pain and limitation of movement, and may cause calcification (osteoarthritis) in the shoulder in later stages.
A pain from the shoulder to the arm is present in rotator cuff tears. During arm movement, the pain increased by lifting the arm towards the head level or lying on it. The pain subsides within a few hours, but continues for a few days. Patients cannot raise their arm outwards. Even if they lift it, they cannot hold it in that position. An untreated tear can expand further over time, leaving permanent damage to the tendon. In this case, the treatment to be applied is both more difficult and less favorable in terms of results.
Diagnosis and Identification
The patient’s history, physical examination and imaging methods are used in the diagnosis of rotator cuff tears. Shoulder radiographs and ultrasonography are also among the diagnostic tests. MRI imaging is used for more accurate diagnosis and understanding of the structure of the tear.
Conservative, in other words, non-surgical treatment is applied in partial tears. Use of anti-edema drugs, resting the shoulder with a shoulder-arm sling, cortisone or pain medication injections under the shoulder belt, and physical therapy applications to strengthen the surrounding muscles are recommended for this.
If the size of the tear is enlarged or if the complaints persist despite conservative treatment, surgical treatment is applied. Surgical treatment is currently performed arthroscopically (closed). Tears are repaired by entering the shoulder joint with a camera through very small incisions. A shoulder-arm sling is used for 4 weeks postoperatively. Physical therapy is carried out for a month.