Medically Reviewed by David E. Lukowski, MD
A group of muscles in your shoulder make up the rotator cuff. Injuries can bring pain and sleepless nights. McLeod Orthopedic Specialist David Lukowski, MD, explained to a group of Brunswick County North Carolina residents how to spot and treat rotator cuff injuries.
Here’s an overview of Dr. Lukowski’s comments:
The rotator cuff is actually four different muscles that allow you to raise your arm up. Typical symptoms include a lot of pain when a person raises their arm and a problem sleeping at night. People can’t sleep on their shoulder. I’m a side sleeper myself and had rotator cuff problems from lifting weights. I can tell you firsthand the pain and sleeplessness that result from a rotator cuff injury and that’s usually what brings people in to my office. Often people finally decide to have surgery because the pain affects their sleep.
It can be caused by an injury, when a person falls and lands on their shoulder. Yet, it’s not always from a fall. In many cases, it’s just a degenerative thing, where you start to develop tearing of those tendons over time.
Once muscle tears develop, they can be treated with steroid injections. Physical therapy is another good option in the beginning stages. If those treatments fail, there is an arthroscopic surgery I perform. I put a camera in your shoulder and I repair the tears through three small incisions. It has a very good success rate but recovery is lengthy — usually at least a six-month to get your shoulder working again.