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Ask the Expert: What is a torn rotator cuff?

Ask the Expert: What is a torn rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder in place. It’s one of the most important parts of the shoulder. It allows you to lift your arm and reach up. The rotator cuff may be damaged from a fall or other injury to the shoulder, or damage may occur slowly over time. Athletes and construction workers often have rotator cuff injuries due to repetitive movement and overuse of the shoulder.

Dr. Rafael Williams

Treatment may include rest, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, strengthening and stretching exercises, or steroid injections. If other treatments don’t help, you may need surgery to relieve pain and help restore function and flexibility. This may include shaving off bone spurs that are pinching the shoulder, or repairing torn tendons or muscles in the shoulder.

Dr. Williams specializes in the treatment of common and complex disorders involving all aspects of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. This includes joint replacements for shoulders.