Your rotator cuff is located in your shoulder area. It is made of muscles and tendons. It helps your shoulder to move and stay stable. Problems with the rotator cuff are common. They include tendinitis, bursitis, and injuries such as tears.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach to the bones of the shoulder joint, allowing the shoulder to move and keeping it stable. Rotator cuff tendinitis refers to irritation of these tendons and inflammation of the bursa (a normally smooth layer) lining these tendons. A rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the tendons is torn from overuse or injury.
Rotator cuff tendons can become inflamed from frequent use or aging. Sometimes they are injured from a fall on an outstretched hand. Sports or jobs with repeated overhead motion can also damage the rotator cuff. Aging causes tendons to wear down, which can lead to a tear.
Sports requiring the arm to be moved over the head repeatedly are tennis, baseball (particularly pitching), swimming, and lifting weights over the head.
Some tears are not painful, but others can be very painful. Treatment for a torn rotator cuff depends on age, health, how severe the injury is, and how long you’ve had the torn rotator cuff.
There are two types of rotator cuff tears:
• A partial tear is when a tear does not completely sever the attachments to the bone.
• A complete or full thickness tear refers to a through and through tear. It may be as small as a pinpoint or all of the muscle tendon. Complete tears have detachment of the tendon from the attachment site and would not heal very well.