What are the symptoms of torn rotator cuff?

Symptoms of torn rotator cuff include pain, an inability to move the shoulder, and swelling.

Common symptoms of torn rotator cuff

You may experience torn rotator cuff symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these symptoms can be severe:

  • Crackling sensation or sound when moving the arm or shoulder (crepitus)
  • Difficulty moving the arm or shoulder
  • Muscle wasting (atrophy)
  • Muscle weakness in the arm or shoulder
  • Redness, warmth or swelling of the shoulder
  • Shoulder or arm pain

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, torn rotator cuff can be a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms including:

  • Inability to rotate your arm
  • Intense electrical sensation shooting down the arm
  • Snapping sound or feeling in the shoulder
  • Sudden, intense shoulder pain, especially it if occurs during physical activity
  • Weakness in the muscles of the hand or arm

What is torn rotator cuff?

Torn rotator cuff refers to damage to one of the four muscles that allow the arm to rotate at the shoulder. Rotator cuff tears can also affect the tendons that hold these muscles together. Generally, a torn rotator cuff is the result of repetitive use, but it can occur as a single traumatic injury.... Read more about torn rotator cuffintroduction


What causes torn rotator cuff?

Torn rotator cuff can be an acute (sudden) injury or a repetitive use (gradual) injury. Acute injuries may occur during strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or sports, or may be due to an accident. More commonly, the rotator cuff will tear as a result of repetitive use, such as with frequent overhead lifting. In these cases, the muscles or tendons of the rotator cuff develop wear and tear over time. Athletes who frequently engage their rotator cuff, such as baseball players, have an increased risk of injury.... Read more about torn rotator cuffcauses


How is torn rotator cuff treated?

A torn rotator cuff may heal on its own but can benefit from pain management, reducing inflammation, and physical therapy. If the tear is small and not excessively painful, treatments that include rest, a sling, and anti-inflammatory medications may be adequate for improving shoulder function. More serious cases of torn rotator cuff may require surgery.... Read more about torn rotator cufftreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

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