30 May 2017

4 Things You Should Know About Rotator Cuff Syndrome

Dr. Guido Alfonso Fierro Porto, Orthopedist, Elbow and Shoulder Surgeon
Professor, Department of Medicine, Universidad de los Andes
Bogotá, Colombia

What is the rotator cuff?

It is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the head of the humerus (the bone that runs from your shoulder to your elbow), give it movement and act to stabilize the shoulder.

  • Pain: usually appears at bedtime or during the day when the shoulder is elevated
  • Movement limitation: varies according to the size of the lesion

Range from age-related tissue degeneration to direct blows to the shoulder or low intensity repeated injuries. Based on the way they are presented, lesions can be classified as:

  • Acute: a previously healthy tendon that has experienced some trauma (injury)

  • Chronic: tendinitis and chronic fiber degeneration leading to a slow rupture of the tendon instead of an isolated traumatic incident. It’s common that people over 50 experience lesions without symptoms
  • Acute over chronic: chronic rupture of the tendon
Treatment and recovery
  • Physical Therapy and oral analgesics: alleviates pain, balances muscles and other shoulder structures
  • Shoulder infiltration
  • Surgery: places the torn tendon in its normal position

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