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Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist

Commons Clinic

Eric S. Millstein, MD

Knee & Shoulder Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Century City, Los Angeles, CA

A rotator cuff tear can cause severe shoulder pain and limit your movement, so even daily tasks like combing your hair or getting dressed are difficult. If you’re experiencing rotator cuff pain, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric S. Millstein in Century City, California, can help. An expert in rotator cuff injuries as well as rotator cuff repair surgery, Dr. Millstein offers comprehensive evaluations to figure out the extent of your injury and determine which rotator cuff repair treatment is best for you. To learn more, call Millstein Orthopedics or schedule an appointment online.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

The rotator cuff is the network of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder joint together. An injury, aging, overuse, or severe arthritis can cause the rotator cuff to tear.

An untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis because reduced muscular support allows the bones to rub against each other. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear might include:

  • Severe pain when rotating and elevating the arm
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Atrophy of the muscles around the shoulder
  • Feeling like the shoulder may give way because it’s so weak
  • Tenderness to touch

Who is at risk for rotator cuff tears?

Most rotator cuff tears are the result of a tendon wearing down, which occurs slowly over time. This degeneration happens as we age, and in general, people over the age of 40 are at greater risk.

In younger people, athletes are particularly vulnerable to overuse tears, especially tennis players and baseball pitchers. People who do repetitive lifting or overhead activities — such as painters and carpenters — are also at risk for rotator cuff tears.

How do you treat a rotator cuff tear?

Repairing the rotator cuff usually involves removing loose fragments of tendon, bursa, and other debris from the space in the shoulder where the rotator cuff moves.

If the rotator cuff is pinched or irritated, it needs more room to move smoothly. This problem is usually solved by shaving bone or removing bone spurs from the point of the shoulder blade.

The most common treatment option is arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery, a procedure with few complications that uses a tube-like device to examine, diagnose, and treat the injury. Tiny instruments are inserted into small incisions and can be used to remove bone spurs or inflammatory portions of muscle.

In general, Dr. Millstein may recommend surgery for patients who:

  • Experience shoulder pain when resting at night
  • Have a large or complete rotator cuff tear
  • Are active and use the shoulder for sports or work
  • Have weakness that prevents them from performing everyday activities

If you have a rotator cuff injury, Dr. Millstein offers expert care from diagnosis through rotator cuff surgery and recovery. To learn more, call the office or go online to schedule a consultation.

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