What are Rotator Cuff Tears?
The rotator cuff includes a group of tendons and muscles that are linked and surround the shoulder joint. Their main purpose is to maintain the stability of the upper arm to the shoulder socket and keep it in place. When an injury occurs to the rotator cuff and causes a tear, it may vary in severity and require immediate medical attention. Typically the result of an injury or traumatic event, a rotator cuff tear can result in a variety of symptoms that can make everyday tasks difficult to perform. Most individuals who have a rotator cuff injury often complain of a dull ache that worsens over time, and the injury makes everyday tasks and functions difficult. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Christopher Williams provides optimal treatment options for individuals who have experienced a rotator cuff tear. Learn more about the available treatments by contacting our Atlanta, GA facility to schedule your initial consultation.
What are the Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?
One of the most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear is a constant, deep ache in the shoulder. Additional symptoms and side effects can also include:
- Difficulty sleeping, especially when lying on the injured shoulder
- Arm weakness
- Occasional sharp pains
- Difficulty raising your arm above your head
Prior to recommending any form of treatment for a rotator cuff tear, Dr. Williams will evaluate your current symptoms and medical history to determine the best procedure to allow you to receive optimal results.
"When my hope was dashed by years of severe pain and misdiagnosis and mistreatment, by drs in San Francisco, I met Dr Williams. He diagnosed my problem correctly based on a very inexpensive test and told me what I needed to do and where to go to learn about what I needed to do to get out of pain and back into the world. I’m working sure and steady towards recovery and not there yet but if it weren’t for Dr Williams I don’t know where I would be. I wish that every person in need would meet a Dr like Dr Williams. He is kind and he made the difference for me. His staff are nice and easy to work with."- L.M. / Facebook / Mar 10, 2021
"Dr.Williams is amazing I drove from Cincinnati Ohio to have PRP injections to cervical spine. The whole team was awesome to the DMX that was performed by Dr.Lightstone. Thanks for the southern hospitality."- H.B. / Google / Jan 24, 2021
"Great experience across the board! Dr Williams takes the time to listen and explain your situation while giving you the best course of action to treat your condition. Staff & office are top notch and very organized. Highly recommend to anyone that is looking for a safe and effective non-surgical procedure to treat their injuries."- D.S. / Google / Sep 01, 2020
"Dr. Williams treated my lumbar and cervical spine with PRP injections. His staff was very kind and easy to work with. He was extremely patient and informative about the procedure and expected outcome and thoroughly answered all of my questions honestly and without being condescending to me. He truly collaborated with me! I chose his clinic and parent company Regenxx, because of the large body of post procedure research that they have compiled for over 10 years on their patients and because they use my body's healing factors in my blood, to bring healing to the areas of my body that need it. The procedure was affordable, quick, and relatively pain free. Within 24 hours, I was noticing a 80-90% reduction in my chronic symptoms, which was very encouraging because that was never promised to me. I am very excited about how the next 2-6 months will progress as the healing factors have time to take their full effect. Thank you Dr. Williams and your staff for a great experience!!"- J.B. / Google / Sep 01, 2020
"IO Atlanta is an exceptional experience. Few doctors have the time to talk to you about your condition, answer ALL your questions (and your spouse's questions too), go over your imagery, and explain all the options with real world results. Not only am I a patient, but my wife is also working with Doc Williams to solve a problem she's had for 20+ years. I can't say enough good things about the staff and how everyone is concerned about your individual outcomes. They truly care, and the work they do is cutting edge. I am very glad I have taken this route over conventional surgery and bought more time without permanently changing my body in irreversible ways. The treatment they offer does things just not possible with conventional orthopedic surgery, and using your own body's ability to heal itself by just creating a bit of encouragement is the wave of the future. I have a big Thank You to Doctor Williams and his entire staff at IO Atlanta."- L. / Google / Aug 26, 2020
What Causes Rotator Cuff Tears?
A rotator cuff tear can be caused by a significant injury or traumatic injury or be due to the everyday wear and tear on the area. Repetitive movements can also contribute to a rotator cuff tear. Additional risk factors may include age, participating in sports activities, construction jobs, and having a family history of rotator cuff injuries. The best way to prevent further rotator cuff injuries is to perform exercises to strengthen the shoulder, as well as the back muscles. After determining the exact cause of your rotator cuff tear, Dr. Williams will provide you with any necessary tips and recommendations to prevent future injuries to the area.
Treatment Options for a rotator cuff tear
In some cases, conservative methods are all that is necessary to treat a rotator cuff tear. This could include rest, ice, physical therapy, or anti-inflammatory medication. If none of these alleviate your symptoms, Dr. Williams may then suggest steroid injections into the affected shoulder to help provide pain relief. In more severe cases of a rotator cuff tear, surgery may be the only available option for eliminating painful symptoms. After your thorough consultation, Dr. Williams will explain all of your available treatment options to you and let you know what you can expect throughout the treatment process.
Rotator Cuff Tears Frequently asked questions
What happens if a torn rotator cuff goes untreated?
Without professional treatment, your pain can worsen, and you may have difficulties with your range of motion and strength. This could impact your ability to perform daily activities, which may prevent you from living a good quality of life. In severe cases, a torn rotator cuff could cause you to lose your ability to move your shoulder permanently.
Does a torn rotator cuff hurt all the time?
Patients often feel rotator cuff pain during the night or with specific movements. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that it wakes you up. If not treated with medicine, rest, or physical therapy, you run the risk of more severe symptoms.
Can a rotator cuff tear heal on its own?
Most rotator cuff muscles cannot heal by themselves. However, you can improve the function without necessarily needing surgery through options, like medications, rest, or physical therapy. Patients who use their jobs to lift things overhead or participate in sports may require more advanced options, such as surgery.
Find Relief Today
A rotator cuff tear can greatly affect your ability to perform everyday tasks, leading to pain and difficulty sleeping. At our Atlanta, GA facility, Dr. Christopher Williams can diagnose and treat rotator cuff tears to allow you to live more comfortably. Contact Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to learn more and to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Williams.