Rotator Cuff Injury

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, around two million Americans require doctor visits each year due to pain or injury to the rotator cuff. There are four muscles that make up the protective layer of tendons surrounding the head of the humerus, or arm bone. Injury to one of these tendons can result in a tear causing pain, weakness, and difficulty in performing daily tasks. Fortunately, proper diagnosis and treatment of this injury can result in decreased pain and restored function.

12. Definition of Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff

Your rotator cuff provides stability and aids in the mobility of your shoulder joint, where the top of your upper arm bone attaches to your shoulder blade. This set of tendons helps in raising and rotating your arm while keeping your arm bone in the ball and socket joint of your shoulder. Additionally, there is a sac of fluid, called the bursa, between your rotator cuff and your shoulder bone. The bursa lubricates the area and allows the shoulder bone to move smoothly and freely within the rotator cuff.

11. Causes of Rotator Cuff Injury

Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff may tear in an acute injury, such as a sudden fall or collision, or in a sudden jolt or thrust when lifting a heavy object. However, rotator cuff tears can also develop gradually over time due to strain or repetitive motion. As a person ages, decreased blood supply to the tendons can inhibit the ability of tissue in the rotator cuff to repair or regenerate. Additionally, the development of bone spurs as a person becomes older can cause friction to the rotator cuff tendons, resulting in damage. Injury to these tendons can partially tear them or pull them completely away from the bone.


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