Texas Orthopedic and Hand Specialist
Kent Weinheimer, M.D.
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon & Hand and Upper Extremity located in Amarillo, TX
If you suffer from shoulder pain and limited range of motion, a rotator cuff tear might be the cause. At Texas Orthopedic and Hand Specialist in Amarillo, Texas, orthopedic surgeon Kent Weinheimer, MD, and the team diagnose and treat rotator cuff tears. Their treatments reduce your pain and accelerate healing. At the first sign of a severe or ongoing shoulder injury, call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.
Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A
What is a rotator cuff tear?
Your rotator cuff is a network of tendons and muscles surrounding your shoulder joint, connecting your arms to your torso. You might suffer a rotator cuff injury because of normal wear-and-tear with aging, arthritis, or an injury. Treatment reduces your pain and helps your shoulder heal properly.
What are the symptoms of rotator cuff tears?
If you have a rotator cuff tear, you could notice some or all of the following symptoms:
- Dull, aching pain
- Sleep problems
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty with everyday tasks
With a torn rotator cuff, you won’t be able to reach behind your back or lift your arm above your head. Something as simple as combing your hair will become impossible, so see Dr. Weinheimer right away. An untreated rotator cuff injury can cause permanent problems.
What are the risk factors for rotator cuff tears?
Rotator cuff tears can occur because of the following causes and risk factors:
- Repetitive overhead activity
- Heavy lifting
- Older age
- Family history of shoulder injuries
- Construction work
While you can’t always prevent a rotator cuff injury, you can do a few things to reduce your risk of getting injured. Examples include building your shoulder strength and flexibility with regular exercise and using caution when lifting heavy objects.
How does my doctor diagnose rotator cuff injuries?
To find out if you have a rotator cuff tear or another injury, Dr. Weinheimer reviews your medical history and symptoms. He then examines your shoulder joint and might ask you to move your arm into various positions. He will usually then order an ultrasound, X-rays, or an MRI to get a better look at the damage to your rotator cuff.
How are rotator cuff tears treated?
Depending on the kind of rotator cuff tear you have and how severe it is, your provider might recommend:
To help your shoulder heal properly, rest the joint, use ice or heat packs, and limit painful movements. Don’t lift heavy objects or anything over your head until your shoulder heals.
Physical therapy strength and flexibility exercises can strengthen your shoulder joint, speed healing, and reduce your risk of re-injury.
Dr. Weinheimer offers shoulder joint injections to reduce inflammation and pain and to speed up your recovery. Among the injections he offers are steroids, nerve block, hyaluronic acid, and regenerative medicine. Dr. Weinheimer personalizes each treatment to give you the best results.
Surgery can repair, remove, or replace tissues in your shoulder to restore its structure and function and reduce or relieve pain. Dr. Weinheimer repairs most rotator cuff tears arthroscopically. Arthroscopy uses small incisions instead of large ones. This reduces the amount of scarring and the possibility of infection after surgery. You also heal much faster.
At the first sign of ongoing or severe shoulder pain, call Texas Orthopedic and Hand Specialists to schedule an appointment or book one online today.