How long should you wait before seeing a doctor when you have a possible rotator cuff tear? If you have persistent pain or stiffness in your shoulder, then why wait when you could go directly to Urgent Care at ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinics to be evaluated by sports medicine specialists? Our doctors can diagnose your shoulder injury and immediately begin treatment, whether it is scheduling an evaluation with our on-site physical therapists, recommending RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), prescribing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections, or planning rotator cuff surgery.
What is a rotator cuff tear?
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in your shoulder joint. It stabilizes your shoulder as you lift and move your arms. In a partial rotator cuff tear, the tendon is ripped or damaged but still attached to the bone. In a full-thickness incomplete tear, part of the tendon detaches, and in a full-thickness complete rotator cuff tear, the tendon completely detaches from the bone.
Do I have a rotator cuff tear?
Pain, stiffness, or a rubbing feeling in your shoulder and upper arm could be a rotator cuff tear. If you have been in a car collision or have fallen, then the pain will be sudden. The pain may gradually increase in tears that occur over time, due to repetitive overhead motions.
When should I see my doctor if I think I have a rotator cuff tear?
Some patients describe a rotator cuff tear as a dull ache, while others report sharp pain. This variation in rotator cuff tear symptoms makes it difficult to self-diagnose. If you feel severe pain, have swelling, redness, or warmth, or have trouble moving your shoulder, you should see your doctor right away. If you have dull pain that persists (usually longer than a week), seeing your doctor is your best move. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and use X-rays to diagnose a rotator cuff tear.
What if I wait to get treatment for my rotator cuff tear?
Waiting to get treatment allows more time for your rotator cuff tear to worsen. Acute rotator cuff tears usually require immediate surgery. Patients typically take longer to present with gradual tears, but the repetitive movements that caused the tear in the first place will continue to irritate and wear down your rotator cuff. Getting treatment early will allow your shoulder to heal, relieve your pain, and shorten your overall recovery time.
Where can I get treatment for my rotator cuff tear?
If you have a rotator cuff tear, then you can go to the ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, or Athens, Tennessee, to discuss your treatment options. See our website and blog for more details on rotator cuff tear diagnosis and treatments. With its on-site physical therapists, board-certified surgeon, and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your rotator cuff tear, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!