08192017Headline:

Bergen County, New Jersey

HomeNew JerseyBergen County

Email Donald A. Caminiti Donald A. Caminiti on LinkedIn Donald A. Caminiti on Twitter Donald A. Caminiti on Facebook
Donald A. Caminiti
Donald A. Caminiti
Contributor •

Shoulder Injury

Comments Off

Often times, persons involved in motor vehicle accidents suffer injuries to that part of their shoulder called a rotator cuff. A rotator cuff injury can significantly limit the range of motion in one’s shoulder.

Some stuff you just take for granted – like being able to pull a sweater over your head and to grab a gallon of milk from the refrigerator. And, don’t forget being able to sleep comfortably for seven or eight hours. But these simple activities may have you wincing in pain if you have injured your rotator cuff.

What’s the rotator cuff?
A problem of impingement
Muscles can tear

What’s the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff is a muscle group that allows people to rotate their shoulder and arm away from their body – lifting it to the front, the side and the back. The cuff also gives individuals the ability to lift their shoulders and arms over their head.

The shoulder, unlike the hip, is not a ball that fits tightly into a deep socket. The shoulder is the most moveable joint in the body, held in place by muscles and tendons. The rotator cuff is the innermost muscle group, which provides stability for the shoulder.

A problem of impingement
A common rotator cuff problem is referred to as impingement. This occurs when the rotator cuff rubs against the acromion, the outmost edge of the collarbone, and/or against the humerus bone. This inflames the bursa, a cushion-like structure between the bones. The problem is more common in a person’s dominant shoulder, so an individual who is right-handed is more likely to experience impingement to his right shoulder. Symptoms include sharp pain when reaching overhead and an inability to sleep on the affected shoulder because of pain. The primary treatment is exercise to build strength and flexibility.

Muscles can tear
After years of athletic overuse, long-term heavy lifting or normal aging, the muscles which comprise the rotator cuff can become so inflamed and weakened that a tear occurs. But, tears can also occur suddenly. For example, it’s not unusual to extend an outstretched arm and hand to brace a fall. Upon impact, body weight impacts into the shoulder and tears the muscle. Someone with a rotator cuff tear will certainly feel it: activities as basic as getting dressed may bring tears to the eyes. There may also be a clicking or popping sound when moving the arm.

Primary treatments for a rotator cuff injury include anti-inflammatory medications, exercise and possibly an injection of cortosteroids. Surgery may be required if more conservative treatments don’t bring relief or if the tear is large. Fortunately, many of these tears can be corrected with arthroscopic surgery using a series of three small incisions around the shoulder. After surgery, patients undergo physical rehabilitation, which is critical to the best possible patient outcome.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.