Tendinosis of the Rotator Cuff Needs Physical Therapy and Sometimes Surgery

When individuals have symptoms of tendinosis it is a tendon disorder. It usually results in a lot of swelling, pain and impaired function of the area. Tendinosis can occur in the shoulder, wrist, knee, hip ankle or elbow. It is worse when the person has a lot of movement of the affected area.

Repetitive activities or an injury may cause tendinosis. Individuals who are musicians, do manual labor or who are athletes typically will develop tendinosis. Doctors can diagnosis tendinosis by examination, based on the patient’s symptoms and by taking medical imaging of the area. After an injury, the inflammation lessens but the patient will still have weakness and disrupted tendon fibrils.

Doctors will treat the patient with pain medication, splinting and rehabilitation. Sometimes steroid injections are recommended or in more serious cases, surgery may have to be performed. It is a common condition. Many older people are affected with tendinosis. Individuals will end up losing a lot of time at work. In about 6 months individuals feel a lot better. The rotator cuff consists of muscles and their tendons. This stabilizes the shoulder. Four of the seven scapulohumeral muscles belong to the rotator cuff. They include the supraspinatus muscle, teres minor muscle the infraspinatus muscle and the subscapularis muscle.

Joint stability and movements depend on the rotator cuff muscles. A cuff at the joint of the shoulder is made up of the scapula that is connected to the humerus. Shoulders that have ended up having surgery are usually placed in a sling for a few weeks to keep the shoulder stable. After that, the patient will go through physical therapy and the shoulder will be manipulated by professionals. These exercises will include external and internal rotation of the joint along with extension and flexion of the shoulder.

The patient will then start exercises to further the strength and range of motion without the physical therapist. Exercises will include external rotation of the shoulder and pendulum exercises for internal strength. The patient will have to do 90-degree angles to increase the range of motion and increase control. After about 12 weeks the patients should be able to use free weights and resistance bands to build up the muscles.

If an individual with rotator cuff tendinosis has gone through physical therapy and steroid injections with no success, then the doctor may recommend surgery. Most people will have a full recovery after having the surgery. Many patients can have a noninvasive surgery called arthroscopy. This is when two or three small incisions are made around the shoulder and the doctors insert the instruments. One of the instruments will have a small camera attached to it so the doctor can see the tissue affected.

Surgery, when the doctor has to put the patient out, is not often needed for tendinitis injuries, but it is needed for a larger tendon tear and other problem with the shoulder. After surgery of this kind, the patient will have to have physical therapy to gain back the strength and range of motion of their shoulder.