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    Orthosports Medical Center  P.O. Box 71055, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, U.A.E.  25°14'14.0"N 55°16'03.6"E ,    +971 04 345 0601     Get in touch
Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

People whose work constantly requires overhead reaching -cabin crews and many other manual laborers for example- may develop pain and discomfort in their shoulders. Athletes or even non-athletes whose hobbies require them to do the same- swimmers or even baseball players to name a few- may also develop this condition.

Quick Anatomy

Your shoulder is composed of 3 bones namely:

  1. Scapular (shoulder blade)
  2. Clavicle (collar bone)
  3. Humerus (upper arm bone)

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles that maintain your shoulder in place. It holds the connection between all 3 bones with the “ball and socket” mechanism.

Predisposing Factors

As mentioned above, athletes, cabin crews, and those who rely on repetitive overhead raises to do their job, are prone to developing this condition.

It may also be a direct result of injury or trauma to the shoulders.

Additionally, it may develop without any apparent reason. This condition is also linked to age. The older the person, the higher the chance of developing this condition. Lifestyle also plays a big role, as most people who develop this condition are habitual smokers.

Chief Complaint

Patient comes in to Orthosports Medical Center with pain in the shoulders. They may also have swollen shoulders swollen. It’s often associated with limited range of motion and loss of strength.

Physical Examination

You would be asked by our orthopedic specialists to move your arms in different directions to determine your range of motion and strength. Additionally, you would be asked to locate the pain through movement and touch.

Diagnostic Test

Radiologic imaging is then used to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays may be used to see the bones and determine their continuity (to rule out a fracture), the spaces in between them, and eliminate the possibility that bone spurs may be causing the symptoms. Following this, depending on the need as well, an MRI scan or ultrasound may be done to provide better images of what is in your joint.

Diagnosis

The pain that one may be feeling around their shoulder could be related to,

  • Tendinitis – meaning inflammation of the tendon – with its “great responsibility” it is more prone to get irritated and then may cause inflammation.
  • Bursitis – meaning inflammation of the bursa – the lubricating sac found in between the bones and the rotator cuff. Irritation and inflammation can occur in this area as well.
  • Impingement – as you do overhead raises, the rotator cuff is pushed upward towards the bones. When done repeatedly, inflammation can occur in the tendon and/or bursa.
  • Calcific – as a result of the body trying to heal, calcium deposits may accumulate in the injured part of the tendon.

Treatment

To address your chief complaints, you and our specialists can decide as to which treatment is appropriate for your condition. Some of the choices would be as follows:

  • Rest – avoid or limit overhead activities.
  • Anti-inflammatories – to lessen the inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy – for restoration of normal motion, stretching, and strengthening.
  • Steroid injections – if conservative management is not enough to manage your symptoms, this can be an option.
  • Ultrasound-guided needling and aspiration– applicable for the calcific tendinopathy. Your specialist can do this procedure using only local anesthesia. You then will be evaluated with x-rays to determine your progress following the procedure.
  • Surgery – should all else fails or if the tendinopathy is very severe that no conservative
    management could be done to alleviate the symptoms, surgery can be done.

Of course, not all these options can be applied to your condition. It is always better to have yourself evaluated by an orthopedic specialist to have understand your condition and go with the management option that suits you best.

Do you have issues with your shoulder? Click here to book an appointment with the Orthopedic Specialist.