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Rotator Cuff Disorders

by Eric Smith
  • Overview

    Rotator cuff disorders affect the tendons that connect the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade and nearby muscles. Disorders can result from injuries or normal wear and tear due to arm and shoulder movements.
  • Bursitis

    According to the Mayo Clinic, bursitis can cause irritation and inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with fluid that is located between the tendons of the rotator cuff and the shoulder joint.
 
  • Tendinitis

    Tendinitis can develop in rotator cuff tendons that are overloaded or overused and can cause inflammation and irritation of these tendons. Racquetball and tennis players are susceptible to tendonitis because they frequently reach their arms over their heads.
  • Strained or Torn Tendon

    Untreated tendinitis may result in a tendon tear or weakening of a patient's rotator cuff tendons. Overuse of the tendons can lead to strains or tears in shoulder tendons.
  • Wear and Tear

    Tendon tissue can break down due to normal aging in people over the age of 40. Arthritic bone spurs or calcium deposits may develop that pinch the rotator cuff.
  • Causes of Injuries

    Rotator cuff injuries can occur after using an arm to break a fall, after improperly lifting a heavy object and after repetitive overhead movements.
  • Treatment

    Doctors may prescribe special exercises to help in healing rotator cuff injuries, they may administer cortisone injections to relieve pain or inflammation and they may surgically repair torn tendons.

    References & Resources