Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
An injury to one or more of the tendons that make up the rotator cuff, the muscles and tendons that are fused together to make up the shoulder joint.
The general cause of rotator cuff tendonitis is overuse of a muscle-tendon unit, such as with repeated overhead reaching or throwing. Over time, the strain on the tendon can cause structural changes within the tendon itself.
Symptoms of rotator cuff tendonitis include pain, that increases gradually over time, shoulder weakness, shoulder stiffness and loss of range of motion of the shoulder.
Treatment procedures for rotator cuff tendonitis will depend on the extent of the injury and amount of immobility. If the injury is less severe, a nonsurgical approach is taken first. This includes prescribing the injured person anti-inflammatory and pain medications and physical therapy to increase muscle movement and strength.
If the tendonitis is more severe, surgical procedures can be taken. This can include such treatments as:
- Arthroscopy – A surgical procedure where a small instrument is inserted into the shoulder and removes bone spurs or degenerated portions of the rotator cuff tendons.
- Open Surgery – A surgical procedure used to repair the injured tendon in more severe cases. Surgery can include transferring tissue from one muscle to another if the tear is too large to be closed together. In the most severe cases, a joint replacement may be necessary.