SYMPTOMS - Rotator Cuff Tear

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

Rotator cuff tears usually cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain
    Pain located primarily on top and in the front of your shoulder. Sometimes you can have pain at the side of your shoulder. Usually is worse with any overhead activity (reaching up above the level of your shoulder).

  • Weakness
    Moderate to severe weakness, especially worse with overhead activity. This weakness is worse than in those people with simple rotator cuff tendonitis. Often patients complain of inability to put dishes up in the cupboards. Some patients with tears cannot lift their arm up to do their hair or scratch their head.

  • Stiffness
    Many patients will experience stiffness in the shoulder. This happens because it either hurts to move the shoulder, or you simply cannot move it because you are too weak. This stiffness can be progressive, meaning that it can get worse with time. Sometimes, the stiffness and loss of motion alone can be the biggest problem!

  • Popping
    Sometimes bursitis that occurs with rotator cuff tears can cause a mild popping or crackling sensation in the shoulder. In addition, the tear itself may rub and can cause this sensation.

  • Unable to Sleep on Shoulder
    Most patients with tears of the rotator cuff complain of difficulty sleeping on the shoulder at night.

How do we diagnose these tears? Click Next below to learn more:

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