Rotator Cuff Tendinitis/Tears
With increasing age and repetitive activities the muscles surrounding the shoulder (Rotator Cuff) may become inflamed and painful. If not treated correctly small tears develop, eventually resulting in a full thickness tear. Patients initially present with pain, difficulty performing overhead activities or activities with the hand behind the back. Eventually they may be unable to abduct (lift) the arm.
Initially Rotator Cuff Tendinitis may be treated with a cortisone injection and physiotherapy, but if a full thickness tear develops or conservative treatment fails then an arthroscopic repair may be required.
Patients with frozen shoulder present with an increasingly painful and stiff shoulder. Eventually the pain improves, but the patients are left with a stiff shoulder. This may take up to 18 months to get better. Most patient can be treated without surgery – Cortisone injections, physiotherapy, water dilatation and manipulations may all be tried. Arthroscopic debridement may be required for patients that are refractory to conservative treatment.
Impingement is caused by compression of the rotator cuff muscles against a bony projection of the acromion (part of the scapula). Patients with this condition present with pain on abducting (lifting) the arm or rotator cuff tendinitis / tear. Treatment consists of arthroscopic shaving / burring of the bony projection with repair of the tear, if present.
There are many causes for arthritis of the shoulder. Degenerative arthritis and Rotator cuff arthritis are just 2 examples. The shoulder will be painful and stiff and a grinding/clicking sensation may be felt. Patients that are suitable candidates may require a Total Shoulder Replacement.