Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Tag » Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff Injury

It’s not surprising that Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham complained of shoulder pain in the weeks prior to Super Bowl XLVII. A reported 11 players from both teams were “nursing” shoulder injuries before the big game this past Sunday.

High-impact sports like football can damage the shoulder joint, causing a number of injuries, including damage to the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that cover the head of the shoulder bone and hold it in place in the socket. 

But it’s not just football players who feel the pain and stiffness of shoulder problems. Golfers and tennis players often have similar complaints.

Any sport that requires repetitive use of the shoulder joint – think of the overhead serve in tennis and the swing required in golf – can stress the rotator cuff and lead to tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons), bursitis (inflammation of the bursa sack) and tears to the ligaments or muscle.

Because the rotator cuff helps keep the shoulder stable and allows for full range of motion, injury causes pain, stiffness and loss of mobility. Generally the pain will be felt along the outside portion or side of the shoulder, rather than deep inside the joint as is the case with osteoarthritis. The pain may wake you up at night and it may hurt to reach overhead.

The first step in treatment is usually conservative. Rest the shoulder, apply ice and take anti-inflammatory medication.  Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy with gentle stretching and strengthening exercises.  Injections with cortisone or other medications can be helpful, too.

More serious injuries, such as a full rotator cuff tear, will not heal by itself and may require surgery.  For more information about the rotator cuff, along with a diagram of the shoulder anatomy, go to

Physical Therapy After Orthopedic Surgery

After orthopedic surgery for injuries like rotator cuff tears of the shoulder, ACL injuries in the knee or joint replacement, physical therapy is a key part of rehabilitation.

Muscles, tendons, cartilage and bone may be weakened from injury and surgery and will need a structured program of progressive exercise. The goal of physical therapy is to help patients rebuild their strength, improve their range of motion and get back to their daily routine and independence faster. It also lessens the chance of re-injury at a later date.

Depending on the injury or surgery, complete rehabilitation may take several months. It also requires motivation. Exercises and putting weight on your injured limb may be uncomfortable at first, but following the instructions of your doctor and the physical therapist will allow you to gradually see a noticeable improvement in your mobility and level of pain. A walker, crutches, splints, ice packs and pain medication will be prescribed to help you cope during the rehabilitation period.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, early mobilization also helps improve circulation after surgery to reduce the potential risk for blood clots. If your surgery requires hospitalization, you can expect to begin physical therapy the day after your procedure. The therapist will assist you in correctly transferring from the bed to a standing position as you begin to put weight on your injured limb. You will receive a structured exercises to do both at the hospital and at home.

Patients recovering from a variety of orthopedic conditions can receive onsite physical therapy at the offices of Dr. John Kagan. For complete listing of orthopedic services provided by Dr. Kagan go to

Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries & Tears

If you’ve ever overused your arm and shoulder when you’ve been gardening, painting the house, lifting something too heavy, or during sports, you know the achy feeling that can result. The shoulder may feel stiff, sore and inflamed. 

What’s going on? The rotator cuff has been strained beyond its normal capacity. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that cover the bone in the shoulder and hold it in place in the shoulder socket. An acute severe injury can tear the tendons, making it painful to raise the arm. Over time, constant misuse can cause the tissue to break down or even pull away from the bone. In extreme cases, the shoulder joint may become unstable.

Who’s at risk for rotator cuff injuries? People who work as carpenters and painters, as well as athletes who play sports such as tennis, baseball, archers and swimming. These activities require repetitive motion that can stress the shoulder joint. Age can also be a risk factor due to general wear and tear on the joint.

When should you consult a doctor? If the shoulder pain persists for more than a week or it hurts to raise your arm, despite a regimen of rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication, schedule a consultation to determine the cause. Treatment may include physical therapy and a steroid injection to relieve inflammation and pain. Surgical repair with arthroscopy may be needed for a significant tear.

During arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon can stitch torn tissue and if necessary, reattach the tendons to the bone. Calcium deposits and bone spurs can be removed. After surgery, you will need additional physical therapy to help strengthen the shoulder muscles and speed up recovery.

For more information about orthopedic-related conditions, go to

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