What is a rotator cuff?

Your upper arm is connected at the shoulder with a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff.

What causes a rotator cuff injury?

The rotator cuff may be injured in sports activities, such as pitching a baseball or playing tennis. Sometimes a jarring injury can occur during a car accident or similar events. People whose jobs involve a lot of overhead motions (e.g. painters or carpenters) may also suffer a rotator cuff injury.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?

A rotator cuff injury often causes an ongoing ache in the shoulder. This pain may disturb your sleep. The injury also may limit your range of motion with that shoulder.

What are the treatment options for a rotator cuff injury?

Physical therapy, steroid or other injections may adequately treat a rotator cuff injury. For more severe injuries, an orthopedic surgeon may perform arthroscopic or open surgery to repair or replace a tendon, remove a bone spur, or replace the shoulder joint.