Rotator cuff tears are among the more common sports injuries, but early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the loss of strength and mobility in your shoulder. Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician Matt Gavin, MD, performs arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs at his office in Leesburg, Virginia. If you think you have a torn rotator cuff and want to get back to your normal activities as soon as possible, call Dr. Gavin’s office to schedule an appointment today.
Your rotator cuff is a group of four tendons that attach your upper arm to your shoulder. If one of these tendons tears or begins to fray, you have a rotator cuff injury. Your rotator cuff helps you lift and rotate your arms, so you may experience pain or restricted movement when performing these motions.
Rotator cuff injuries are extremely common and can occur suddenly, as with an acute injury, or develop slowly over time.
Acute rotator cuff injuries can happen as the result of a fall or collision during sports or other activities. If you experience sharp shoulder pain, or can’t move your shoulder normally after an injury, it’s important to get medical help right away.
Rotator cuff injuries that come on gradually are more common in people who perform repetitive motions that overuse rotator cuff tendons, such as baseball and tennis players.
You may have a rotator cuff injury if you experience these common symptoms:
As a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder injuries, Dr. Gavin begins with a comprehensive exam. He may test the strength and mobility of your shoulder by moving your arm into different positions.
If you have a complete tear in your rotator cuff, Dr. Gavin may recommend surgery. Depending on your condition and the severity of your injury, he may recommend open surgery or arthroscopic repair.
If your injury is large or complex, open surgery may be necessary to repair your tendons. But if Dr. Gavin determines you’re a candidate for arthroscopic surgery, he may suggest this less invasive option instead.
Dr. Gavin practices arthroscopic shoulder surgery, which uses a small instrument called an arthroscope to view and treat rotator cuff injuries. Since the instruments are so tiny, he can make much smaller incisions in your shoulder. This leads to a faster recovery time and more comfort while you heal.
The arthroscope contains a small camera and light, so Dr. Gavin can see your shoulder tissues on a screen while he repairs the injury site.
If you have a rotator cuff injury that needs treatment, call Dr. Gavin’s office to schedule an appointment today.