This month on ABC 27 Dr. King had the chance to appear on the midday Good Day PA section of their news cast. During this time Dr. King discussed the causes and treatment of rotator cuff tears. He also shared how to prevent tears and hosted a live webchat as well!
What are rotator cuff injuries?
To begin, the rotator cuff is the group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder. These assist in raising the arm away from the body and overhead. If you reach up your arms or lift a box you’re using your rotator cuff. There are a wide variety of injuries that can affect the rotator cuff ranging from inflammation to a complete tear. These injuries do not typically have a single cause as well. Rotator cuff injuries can be from degenerative changes over the years, or a fall on your arm, elbow, or shoulder. They can also occur from lifting something heavy and overdoing it.
With such a wide variety of causes and injuries it’s important to know the symptoms of a tear in your rotator cuff. The most common of these symptoms is pain and weakness in the shoulder. This will most commonly occur when reaching overhead for something. Physicians should be able to tell if you’ve torn your rotator cuff through a physical examination although this is not always the case. An MRI will tell the complete story and give accurate details of the tear.
Treating rotator cuff injuries
There are many non-operative treatment options for rotator cuff injuries and tears. If only part of the tendon has torn and the rest still remains attached then this can be treated without surgery. Complete tendon tears can also be treated without surgery. If the full tear is causing a lot of pain and weakness then a minimally invasive surgery can be performed. In all cases physical therapy and rehabilitation will need to be done.
About Dr. King
Dr. King studied at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine where he earned his medical degree. He served in the Navy as an orthopaedic surgeon at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital. Dr. King completed his fellowship training in sports medicine at the Massachusetts Medical Center and specializes in the treatment of athletic injuries. In his leisure time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four children.