Rotator Cuff Pathology

Rotator cuff consists of group of four muscle tendons whih make the ball of the shoulder (humerus) move in the socket (Glenoid). These tendons undergo degenerative changes with age or might get torn due to repetitive micro-trauma. In most cases the patients suffering from a rotator cuff pathology are elderly. But, athletes recurrently involving in overhead activities also suffer from similar symptoms owing to micro-tears in the substance of the tendons owing to overuse.

Once these tendons have microtrauma it is refered to as a tendinosis. This chronically over time leads to permanent weakening of these tendinous insertions which is called tendinopathy. If un treated, it might lead to partial and progressively complete tears of the rotator cuff tendons. Typicaly patients with this pathology suffer from:

  • Night symptoms
  • Upper back strain and constant upper arm pain
  • Decreased and painful activity of the affected shoulder.

The patients also develop a habit of using the shoulder blade muscles to substitute different functions of the rotator cuff. This leads to abnormal movements of the scapula, which is out of proportion to normal motion. Early stages of the problem can usually be handled with conservative treatment but later the patients might require a surgical procedure.

Arthroscopic repairs of the rotator cuff have gained popularity with good to excellent functional results. Most patients regain their range of motion by 3 months and complete strength by 6-8 months of physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Illustrative video to demonstrate the procedure of arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff. This surgery is need in that subset of patients who have significant symptoms with radiological and clinical evidence of a rotator cuff tear. exercises for strengthening of rotator cuff tendons. These are essential in rehabilitating most patients of rotator cuff pathology and even post operative patients. Exercises are imperative for achieving good results with respect to both range of motion and strength training.


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