What are Rotator Cuff Tears?
The area of the body known as the rotator cuff is made up of several tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. This group of tendons serves to stabilize the upper arm and the shoulder, keeping them both perfectly in place. Unfortunately, an injury to this cuff can cause a tear, which will likely require immediate medical attention to prevent its condition from worsening. While the side effects of a rotator cuff tear can vary, in almost every case, it will significantly impact your ability to carry out everyday tasks. At Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, we take rotator cuff tears extremely seriously. While some patients will turn to surgical procedures to treat their tears, Dr. Christie Lehman offers a variety of nonsurgical methods that can quickly and effectively restore the function of your shoulder.
Rotator Cuff Tears Reviews
"My MRI showed multiple rotator cuff tears, arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis. I chose to see Dr. Christie Lehman and receive Regenexx Procedure. Although I did have down time in response to the treatment, two weeks after the second shot, I was in PT and two weeks later I had zero pain! After four years of debilitating right shoulder pain, I found myself asking in response to zero pain, “What’s wrong with this picture?” Of course, nothing was wrong! Pain was no longer my constant companion. I’m grateful for Dr. Lehman’s expertise and my pain-free return to daily life."- M.O. / Healthgrades / Sep 06, 2022
How Can Rotator Cuff Tears be Treated?
In many cases, it is possible to fix a rotator cuff tear without the use of surgery. Nonsurgical alternatives usually involve anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, physical therapy, and/or activity modification. Different treatments will yield different results, depending on each particular patient, which is why we always recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Christie Lehman to decide which treatment will likely work best for you.
During your consultation, our staff will likely perform any number of diagnostic procedures, including musculoskeletal ultrasound, in order to properly identify exactly what's going on within your body. Once we've done this, we can create a customized treatment plan that has been tailored precisely to meet your needs. In many cases, we may utilize a modern procedure known as Regenexx®, which utilizes the body's own growth factors in order to invigorate the natural healing process within the shoulder and help with rotator cuff support. Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is a Regenexx partner, which makes us one of the foremost experts on this exciting procedure in our area.
Common Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tears
This condition can be incredibly painful and even debilitating if left untreated. For this reason, it's incredibly important to visit Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at the first sign of a problem. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from a rotator cuff tear:
- Pain when resting or lying on the injured shoulder
- Pain when lifting and lowering your arm
- Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
- A cracking sound or sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions
How Is A Rotator Cuff Tear Diagnosed?
Diagnosing rotator cuff tears involves a comprehensive approach at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Initially, a detailed physical examination will be conducted, assessing shoulder movement and strength to identify signs of a tear. Diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI or ultrasound, is often utilized to visualize the extent of the injury. These techniques allow our team to accurately determine the nature of the tear and develop an effective, personalized treatment plan, whether it involves Regenexx procedures, physical therapy, or other nonsurgical methods.
Rotator Cuff Tears FAQ
How common are rotator cuff tears?
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, rotator cuff tears are very common — affecting almost 2 million U.S. adults every year.
What are the types of rotator cuff tears?
There are two types of rotator cuff tears: acute and degenerative.
- Acute rotator cuff tear – occurs quickly, typically due to a fall, injury, or lifting of an object that is too heavy for you with a jerking movement.
- Degenerative rotator cuff tear – occurs as a result of a wearing down of the main tendon over time and is often caused by repetitive movements or stresses, reduced blood supply (natural aging), and bone spurs.
Can a rotator cuff tear heal on its own?
Yes, in many cases, a minor to moderate rotator cuff tear can heal on its own. However, most patients will see improved results and restore a greater range of motion if nonsurgical treatments like physical rehabilitation, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, Regenexx treatments, and rest are included in recovery. Our team at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will work with you to create a treatment plan to help provide rotator cuff pain relief as well as help heal your rotator cuff tear and provide care after rotator cuff surgery.
What are the risks for rotator cuff tears?
- Being 40+ years old
- Repetitive movements, especially overhead
- Lifting heavy objects
- Playing sports
Rid Yourself of Shoulder Pain
Your health is always in the right hands at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Rotator cuff tears can be a debilitating injury, but they do not always require surgery and all of its associated risks and downtime. Call us to arrange an appointment with Dr. Christie Lehman to discuss whether or not one of our advanced procedures might be able to reduce pain and bring back the function in your shoulder.
Call to see if you are a candidate: 828-528-6218 Learn more - Regenexx.com