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A 47-year-old female asked:

can a tear heal on its own in a rotator cuff?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brian Chimenti
Sports Medicine 27 years experience
Rotator Cuff: Depends on the size and thickness. Partial thickness tears can heal if they are less than 50% of the thickness of the tendon. Full thickness (complete) tears generally will not heal on their own and will often enlarge with time.
Dr. Scott Graham
Orthopedic Surgery 26 years experience
No: Unfortunately, tears can never actually heal without surgery. They can however become asymptomatic if one can strengthen the surrounding area with physical therapy. The rtc is always under tension so it is really impossible to get something pulled apart to heal. Many older people have partial tears with no symptoms. For this reason, it is common to try therapy first for small tears before surgery.

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A 34-year-old member asked:

What does it mean to have a strained rotator cuff?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Deberardino
Orthopedic Surgery 32 years experience
Not as bad as a tear: The tendons that attach the rotor cuff muscles to the top of the shoulder bone are commonly injured in adults. The spectrum of injury runs from a mild strain to a partial tear and ends with a full thickness tear. A strain specifically means that no actual tendon fibers are torn or ruptured, whereas increasingly more tendon fibers are overtly torn with partial and full thickness tears.
CA
A 34-year-old member asked:

What are good exercises to do to strengthen the rotator cuff?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vishal Shah
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Jobe's exercises: Jobe's exercises have been described as a series of strengthening exercises for the rotator cuff. They should be done with low resistance (1-3 lb dumbells or an exercise band). These exercises can be found via an internet search.
A 44-year-old member asked:

Is there treatment for a rotator cup tear?

4 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Deberardino
Orthopedic Surgery 32 years experience
Therapy vs repair: Not all rotator cuff tears are treated the same. Factors such as age of patient, age of the tear, size of tear, location of the tear, and most importantly the symptoms of the patient all help determine the best course of treatment. A trial of nonoperative management with therapy and perhaps an injection is the usual 1st line of treatment. Surgery may be indicated if nonoperative treatment fails.
A 47-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between an impingement and tear of a rotator cuff?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Ayres
Orthopedic Surgery 37 years experience
Severity of condtion: With impingment, the rotator cuff is being pinched, without necessarily being torn, between the acromion of the shoulder blade and the top of the humerus. Raising your arm pinches the rotator cuff just like closing a door pinches your fingers if they are stuck between the door and door jam. A rotator cuff tear implies that the tendon is not simply inflamed but is partially or totally disrupted.
Portage, IN
A 44-year-old female asked:

How can a rotator cuff be treated at home? Is there anything I can do?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Rhett Griggs
Hand Surgery 19 years experience
Variable: Anti inflammatory medication, ice, gentle motion and rotator cuff strengthening exercises. If it is not improving see your md.

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Last updated Feb 24, 2020
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