Shoulder rotator cuff injury and tear

Shoulder rotator cuff injury

The muscles surrounding the shoulder joint and their tendons form the rotator cuff. A rupture of the rotator cuff can occur either accidentally or from gradual rubbing, for example in connection with a chronic narrow shoulder. Tears are most common in the event of a fall accident, for example in situations where the upper limb is extended under the body when overturned. Another typical rotator cuff injury is a sudden jerk when gripping a stair railing, for example, when you are about to fall on a staircase. Ruptures of the rotator cuff are quite common in people over the age of 50 years.


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Symptoms of a torn shoulder rotator cuff

Common symptoms of rupture of the rotator cuff include painful movement restrictions in the shoulder joint, strain pain, and pain during sleep. The pain is due to the fact that the joint, in a way, leaks joint fluid and causes inflammation of the mucous sac surrounding the shoulder joint. Radiating pain elsewhere in the arm is also common.

Lifting the upper arm to the upper position is especially difficult. If there is a large tear in the rotator cuff or if the tendon is completely broken, it may not be possible to lift the upper arm from the side.

In most cases, it is a partial rupture, which is why the movement of the shoulder is only somewhat limited. These ruptures also require treatment.

Treatment of a torn shoulder rotator cuff

The treatment of a torn rotator cuff is always planned and tailored to the individual person. Conservative treatment without surgery is warranted in many cases. The cornerstone of conservative treatment is rehabilitation and physiotherapy, which aim to relieve pain, restore correct movement patterns, and gradually strengthen the muscles of the rotator cuff.

In some cases, tears in the rotator cuff are treated with surgery or endoscopic surgery. After surgery, an arm sling is used for support for about 4 weeks. During the six weeks following surgery, the use and movement of the arm is done very carefully and rehabilitation is performed according to the instructions given by the physiotherapist. This is followed by a gradual strengthening of the arm according to an individual rehabilitation plan.


Prevention of a shoulder rotator cuff tear

With a healthy lifestyle, regular and versatile muscle fitness, mobility and movement management training can also reduce the risk of shoulder rotator cuff tears. Because ruptures of the rotator cuff often result in a fall accident, balance and lower limb muscle strength training should also be considered in training for the elderly.