Rotator Cuff Injuries & Solutions in Kirkland, WA
The rotator cuff is made up of four tendons (subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor) that work to hold the humeral head in the socket so that other larger muscles can move the shoulder. Due to high volume daily use, rotator cuff injuries are very common.
When the rotator cuff is torn, weakness and pain can occur. Over time, especially with a large rotator cuff tear that is not repaired, a certain type of arthritis can occur. The rotator cuff can cause pain without being torn due to tendonitis, bursitis/impingement or calcific tendonitis.
The goal of rotator cuff repair is to improve pain, function, and mobility. We treat rotator cuff injuries arthroscopically, which allows for a quicker recovery and less postoperative pain. During surgery, a camera is placed through a small incision. Through additional small incisions, instruments are placed that allow us to place stitches through the rotator cuff and tie it back down to the bone. Patients are in a sling for 6 weeks following surgery. Strengthening is usually started 3 months after surgery.
Dr. Clinton is a fellowship- trained board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopy of the shoulder. She takes pride in making sure that her patients understand their treatment options and takes the time to answer any questions. Call (425) 823-4000 to schedule an appointment today!
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Shoulder impingement occurs when bone spurs rub on the rotator cuff. Pain occurs when the arm is in the overhead position. Shoulder impingement may also contribute to the rotator cuff tearing over time.
Many patients with impingement can be treated nonoperatively with activity modification, exercises, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, and/or steroid injections.
If these measures are not successful then patients may be candidates for arthroscopic surgery. During this surgery, through small incisions, a camera is placed and the bone spurs can be shaved down. This is done as an outpatient surgery. Patients usually wear a sling for 2-3 weeks following surgery. They then work with physical therapy on regaining motion and strength
Calcific tendonitis occurs when calcium deposits are present within the rotator cuff. This can cause severe shoulder pain. This can be treated with cortisone injections and/or breaking up the calcium with a needle. If those treatments don’t work, surgery is an option. Surgery involves arthroscopic removal of the calcium and usually, repair of the area of tendon that the calcium was removed from.
Post-operative rehabilitation and recovery is very similar to that of a rotator cuff repair.