Rotator Cuff Injury
In this section I want to talk specifically about the severest types of rotator cuff injury. I want to try and explain how it may have happened and if I can, why it happened and to try to give you the facts.
If, like me, you have suffered a severe cuff injury I also want to give you some hope for the future.
No matter how severe your rotator cuff injury may be; you can have a huge impact upon your own recovery.
Your rotator injury symptoms either before or after rotator cuff surgery can be significantly improved by rotator cuff tear rehab.
Major TraumaA huge amount of damage can be done to the human body by such things as car crashes and falls. Anything with a significant impact can result in a cuff injury.
Such events are thankfully still quite rare and if you have suffered such a severe misfortune your torn rotator cuff is likely to be fairly low down on your list of immediate priorities.
You’ll be far too busy with sorting out your major organs, fixing broken bones and counting up how many teeth remain in place. In time, however, you may come to realise that you have in fact suffered a rotator cuff injury.
This is likely to have been overlooked at the time by all concerned unless you suffered significant shoulder damage. There are too many complicating factors in such cases however to cover all the possible major problems here.
Common causesThere are two common causes of the severest types of rotator cuff injury. The first is a one off event such as a sports injury, generally suffered by younger people. The second, more common in people over 40 is caused through gradual wear and tear or impingement of the rotator cuff tendon.
Complete ruptureBy far the most severe injury is a complete rupture or full thickness tear. This can be further complicated by the rotator cuff tendon becoming detached from the Humerus.
The degree of severity is generally considered to be decided upon the size of the tear. This is also complicated by the number of torn rotator cuff muscle tendons. For example a complete rupture of two or more rotator cuff tendons is about as bad as it is likely to get.
A fully torn rotator cuff may need surgery but this is not always the first or indeed the best option. It is fair to say that surgical success is more likely the younger you are, the better the overall quality of the affected tendon and the size of the tear. As I explained above however surgery may not be required at all.
A torn rotator cuff, because it is a muscle, has the power to hypertrophy and so the remaining muscle, which is still attached, can get stronger and compensate for the torn part.
Unfortunately, the torn rotator cuff can never heal itself spontaneously and it does not and can not reattach itself. The decision to operate must be made taking all of these factors into account.
An example of extreme hypertrophy is body building.
I am not advocating you go quite this far!
There is much more information on torn rotator cuff surgery and the problems encountered during and after rotator cuff surgery in the surgery sections of the site.
SymptomsThere are two major rotator cuff injury symptoms, quite simply pain and weakness. It sounds simple and straightforward doesn’t it? But, as we know, it is neither simple nor straightforward.
The pain can be severe, the weakness truly debilitating and both can lead to other problems developing; everything from sleep disorders to depression. The pain is often centred on the front and outer part of the shoulder and the weakness can be in both strength and range of movement.
There is no way of knowing who will be affected and how badly. For example a full thickness rotator cuff injury may have very little associated pain but could result in a complete loss of mobility in the shoulder. It could just as easily result in exactly the opposite.
The majority of people do well without surgery and can reduce pain and increase mobility purely through rest and then exercise. Surgical success varies from 90% in the young with small tears and good quality tendons to a failure rate of 40% in older patients with large tears and poor quality tendons.
Note: If you have been injured and are contemplating settling the claim, learn how to appropriately negotiate a structured settlement so that it benefits you the most. If you already have a settlement and would like to expedite the collection of benefits, consider accounts receivable factoring to get a lump sum payment today.
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