Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Repair Injury

A rotator cuff tear is a common injury suffered by many and it causes pain and disability among adults. It will not only weaken your shoulder but will also hinder your day to day activities, such as wearing your clothes, brushing your teeth and combing your hair. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that are joined together, surrounding the front, back and top of your shoulder joint connected to each other. When one or more muscles are torn, the tendons are detached from the humerus and they start to fray. As time passes, the tendon can entirely tear either on its own or during activities that exert huge load on the shoulders.

The most common symptom experienced by many is aching at the top and front of the shoulder. The pain is significantly higher when the arm is lifted overhead. Often, the patient is unable to have a good rest at night as the pain gets worse at night. Some patients may experience weakness in the injured arm and in a worst case scenario; the entire arm cannot be lifted at all.

When patients experience inability to lift their arm above their shoulder, it is normally due to their supraspinatus tendon rubbing against the under portion of their shoulder blade known as the Acromium. It can be acute and it can also be a gradual pain depending on the initial injury. Swelling and inflammation will be observed and the muscles in the rotator cuff will be weakened as a result.

Overuse of the shoulder causes bursitis or tendonitis which is also known as impingement. Impingement will cause the tissues below the acromioclavicular joint to be rubbing against the bone, causing irritation and pain. Normally the doctor will prescribe pain killers or cortisone injections. However if all fails, an arthroscopic acromioplasty or shoulder acromioplasty will be carried out.

As the surface of our acromion can be mis-shaped, bone spurs might develop. By jutting further down when the tendons are, it will cause much pain too the patient in the injured shoulder. The surgeon can reshape the acromion through arthroscopy, a minimal invasive surgery method or through open shoulder surgery.

Gentle exercises to obtain back full range of motion will start the day after the surgery and patients are advised to stop using the arm sling in the shortest possible time. The sutures will be removed a week after surgery and strengthening exercise will be taught to them. It will take approximately 3 months for the shoulder to recover fully.

The Recovery Process After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Shoulder pain is a common problem experienced by many people, with a tear in the rotator cuff the most common reason for it. They are extremely painful and restrict your movement greatly. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons which comprises of four muscles and they hold your arm in a ball and socket joint, which allows your shoulder to rotate around and move with ease. The tendons can be torn through injuries. Rotator cuff surgery is the most commonly done procedures around the world, with over 250000 done in the United States of America annually.

After the surgery has completed, the patient will be taken to a recovery room for a couple of hours. The injured arm will be in a protective sling or even a shoulder immobilizer to prevent any movements. Depending on the type of surgery, arthroscopic surgery patients will be discharged on the same day while open surgery patients will need to be warded for a couple of days.

A physiotherapist will meet up with the patient before discharge and he will teach the patient a set of exercises that are designed to regain the flexibility, range of motion and strength in the injured shoulder. The exercises can be done at the comfort of your own home. Not only will physical therapy exercises be taught, the patient will also be educated on how to prevent re-injuring the shoulders.

Back at the comfort of their own home, it is crucial to perform the physical therapy exercises taught by the physiotherapist for 5 times a day.  Patients should attempt to get back their full range of motion as soon as possible to prevent the formation of scar tissues. If scar tissues are formed, the scarring might possibly cause the whole shoulder to stiffen which will result in huge discomfort and even limit the activities the shoulder can conduct in future. Swelling might be observed as well. They will normally go away if the arms are held in an elevated position and is nothing serious.

The first 12 weeks after surgery are the most important period. Physical exercises must be conducted regularly to regain the full range of motion and prevent the formation of scar tissues. It is of utmost importance not to lift the injured arm away from the body and do not exert any strength on it. Whenever throughout the day, the arm must always be kept inside a protective sling and it is only allowed to be removed which exercising or showering. Do not attempt to drive during the first 6 weeks after surgery.

Full recovery takes roughly 6 months and the first 12 weeks are of most importance. Do the exercises as prescribed by the physiotherapist and this will kick start the healing process

We offer professional help in the areas of diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for rotator cuff injury and shoulder pain.

4 Types of Shoulder Tendonitis Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Our shoulder is a very complex joint that is used in almost every action. As a result, one of the most common problems is shoulder tendonitis. The joints are stabilitsed by a group of muscles called the rotator cuffs and when it gets inflamed, it gets further irritated by the many structures around it.

It is extremely important to attend to tendonitis as soon as you can to minimize long term pain. Plenty of rest and care will lessen the stress on the shoulder joints and allow it to heal.

1) R.I.C.E

Rest: Stop whatever activity that is causing that pain in the shoulder immediately. The shoulders will need to be rested for a minimum of 3 weeks and failure to comply with it would risk irregular repair of the injured tendon and that could possibly lead to more serious complications and possibly long term pain. Stop aggravating the injury!

Ice: Apply ice immediately on the injured site as ice itself is anti-inflammatory. Ice is able to reduce the inflammation in the tendons. Apply ice regularly every 4 to 6 hours for 15 to 20 minutes and it will help to bring down the swelling.

Compression: Compression through the usage of a simple bandage reduces swelling caused by the inflamed tendon. Wrap the bandage firm and tight but there must be sufficient room for blood flow and expansion of muscles when they contract.

Elevation: Keep the injured tendon above the heart level so as to reduce blood flow and reduce pain and swelling. It reduces edema and also helps to rid waste from the area, allowing a faster healing rate.

2) Anti-inflammatory drugs:

Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, ibuprofen or naproxen is used to reduce pain and inflammation of the tendon. These are basic treatments and can only provide a temporary relief.

3) Injection:

Localised injection has a high success rate of 70% and usually contains 2 medications, one to numb the shoulder and the other an anti-inflammation drug. The combination works quickly to reduce inflammation and pain. After the injection, it is required to rest for at least 48 hours.

4) Posterior stretching:

Often people with rotator cuff injuries have tight ligaments. This tightness can contribute to further movement abnormalities and pain in the shoulder.

Reach for the injured arm across the body at chest level, pull the arm closer to the body and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat this throughout the entire day, doing once every 15 minutes.

Lying on the back, extend both arms forward and towards the ceiling. Bend the elbows and hold the wrist of the injured shoulder with the left hand. Pushing the right arm down, you should be able to feel a strain on the shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 8 to 12 repetitions.

The Symptom and Stages of Frozen Shoulders

Adhesive capsulitis, a medical term for frozen shoulders disorder. If you are encountering pain that varies according to the changes in weather and temperature, there is a possibility that you might catch up with the one of the most common neurological disorder – adhesive capsulitis.

The exact cause for frozen shoulders is still unknown. However some believe that injury or some form of trauma can possibly result to cases of frozen shoulders. Such condition can be frustrating to patients as frozen shoulders can last from 5 months to 3 years, or even longer if its not medically treated.

For bad cases of frozen shoulder, it can limit one’s movement, severely restricting the movement of your shoulder.  A sudden bump to the shoulders can also lead to pain and eventually cramps that can last for several minutes.

Although there isn’t an exact cause for frozen shoulders, but there are some risk factors such as age, endocrine disorder or even shoulder trauma that can possibly result to this condition.

Usually for frozen shoulders patients, they’ll experience these symptoms as follow:

  1. Experiencing dull and aching pain on your shoulders for the initial stage.
  2. Gradually the pain will limit the movement of your shoulders.
  3. The limitation in movements will cause inconvenience to daily life activities such as times when you are changing out your clothes or even when you are combing your hair.
  4. Pain will be inflicted when you are sleeping on the affected area of your shoulder.

As the condition worsen, you may be facing 3 stages of frozen shoulders as follows:

  1. Freezing stage
    Freezing stage is the most painful stage that a frozen shoulders patient will encounter. This condition stage will restrict one’s movement and causing pain that can last 6 to 12 months.
  2. Frozen stage
    As the condition deteriorates, the stiffness worsens. However, patients will not experience as much pain compared to the freezing stage. Such condition will last up to 6 months.
  3. Thawing stage
    The third stage of frozen shoulder will take about 6 months to 2 years to recover completely. The motion of the shoulders will gradually improve with time.

Do not hesitate to seek for medical support if you believe you have contracted the frozen shoulders disorder. It is advisable to seek for professional treatment if the pain in your shoulders is giving you symptoms that can be interpreted into serious health issues.