About Rotator Cuff Tear

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

The shoulder is the most mobile joint of the body. The head of the humerus (arm bone) and glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade) form the ball and socket joint. The joint is held in place by the rotator cuff tendons and the soft tissue glenoid labrum. The rotator cuff tendons stabilize the shoulder and help it move. A rotator cuff tear occurs when one or more of the rotator cuff tendons are torn. Tendon tears can be partial or complete. They are grouped into non-degenerative and degenerative categories.

Common Causes:

  • Sports injuries
  • Traumatic accidents
  • Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of rotator cuff tear may include:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Decreased range of motion/inability to move the arm

When you arrive for your initial consultation, one of our team of shoulder specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a rotator cuff tear, The OPA Shoulder Specialist:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays or MRI

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible and then treat your underlying cause.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options may be used to treat some rotator cuff tears. An OPA specialist’s nonsurgical treatment plan includes:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Decrease inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy

Improves strength, flexibility, and function.

Rest, Ice & Immobilization

Decrease pain and inflammation and give the torn tendons time to heal.

Activity Modification

To prevent future injuries.

Many complete rotator cuff tendon tears require surgical intervention. The team of shoulder specialists have expertise in performing minimally invasive arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs.

At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating rotator cuff tears.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a rotator cuff tear and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at any of our convenient locations in Anchorage and Eagle River.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Shoulder Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Robert Hall, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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