A torn rotator cuff and frozen shoulder are two of the most common causes of severe shoulder pain. The pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion are symptoms of both conditions, so you will need to see an orthopedic doctor in order to get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Every day, orthopedic physicians across the country treat patients with frozen shoulder or a torn rotator cuff. Let’s talk about the differences between rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulder, and where you can go to have your shoulder medically assessed and treated.
What Is a Torn Rotator Cuff?
A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and allow the shoulder to rotate – thus the name. The rotator cuff can develop tiny tears due to repetitive motions that are due to sports or work, or it can suffer a large tear due to a sudden injury.
Pain from a torn rotator cuff feels like a dull ache that worsens when the arm is used or when you lie down on the affected shoulder. Patients also experience weakness of that arm.
The risk of rotator cuff tears increases with age as the connective tissues develop age-related changes. If you would like to preserve your shoulder joint and the supportive tissues, talk to an orthopedic doctor for preventive care and strengthening methods.
How Frozen Shoulder Is Different
Also called adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a result of the thickening of the capsule of tissues that cover the shoulder bones, tendons, and ligaments. Inflammation of these tissues causes the thickening, and this is what restricts movement of the shoulder. The term “frozen” in this case refers to the immobility, not temperature.
Frozen shoulder is common in people who have been partially immobile for a period of time, such as those who have had a broken arm or have suffered a stroke which affected that side of the body. It can also happen to those who have diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or cardiovascular disease.
Frozen shoulder causes pain and stiffness that will get worse without proper medical treatment. Similar to rotator cuff treatment, physical therapy is a critical part of rehabilitation of the shoulder. Frozen shoulder can take up to two years to fully resolve.
Orthopedic Surgeon in North Dakota
Rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulder need expert treatment by an experienced orthopedic surgeon. For relief from the discomfort, restoration of normal shoulder function, and prevention of recurrence and complications, our orthopedic surgeons here at The Bone & Joint Center can help you.
We are a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of shoulder and elbow injuries. Our own Dr. Duncan Ackerman, Dr. Brock Norrie, and Dr. Troy Pierce specialize in both invasive and noninvasive shoulder and elbow treatments, and they will explain your options to help you decide what would work best for you.
To schedule an appointment, call us today at (800) 424-2663, or fill out our online request form. We look forward to helping you get your shoulder back!