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Rotator Cuff
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Rotator cuff injury

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A rotator cuff injury is a tear or inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder. A rotator cuff injury is a painful strain in the tendons and muscles surrounding your shoulder joint. Your rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and their attached tendons. The muscles connect your upper arm bone (humerus) with your shoulder blade. They also help hold the ball of your upper arm bone firmly in your shoulder socket, as though holding a golf ball on a tee. The combination results in the greatest range of motion of any joint in your body.

As you get older, your risk of a rotator cuff injury increases. Causes of the injury may include poor posture, falling, lifting and repetitive overhead arm activities. These may include throwing a baseball, reaching up to work on a car on a rack or placing items on shelves above your head. The injury is also common among people whose jobs or hobbies include heavy demands on their shoulders, such as athletes and people in the construction trades.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a rotator cuff injury may include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your shoulder, especially when reaching overhead or when sleeping on the affected side

  • Shoulder weakness

  • Loss of shoulder movement

  • Desire to keep your shoulder inactive

The most common symptom is pain. You may experience it when you reach up to comb your hair, bend your arm back to put on a jacket or carry something heavy. Lying or sleeping on the affected shoulder also can be painful. If you have a severe injury, such as a large tear, you may experience continuous pain and muscle weakness.

Causes

A rotator cuff injury involves any type of irritation or damage to your rotator cuff muscles or tendons, including:

  • Tendinitis. Tendons in your rotator cuff can become inflamed due to overuse or overload, especially in athletes who perform a lot of overhead activities, such as tennis or racquetball players. In some people, the space where the rotator cuff resides can be narrowed due to the shape of different shoulder bones, including the outside end of the collarbone or shoulder blade.

  • Bursitis. The fluid-filled sac (bursa) between your shoulder joint and rotator cuff tendons can become irritated and inflamed.

  • Strain or tear. Left untreated, tendinitis can weaken a tendon and lead to a tendon tear. Stress from overuse also can cause a shoulder tendon or muscle to tear.

 

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Disclaimer

This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:07 AM