Rotator Cuff Injuries Treated by Orthopedic Doctors in Baltimore


This 3D medical animation demonstrates how a torn rotator cuff can be repaired with arthroscopic techniques. This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves an arthroscope and small surgical tools.

Orthopedic surgeons at The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center at Mercy in Baltimore specialize in diagnosing and treating shoulder conditions such as rotator cuff injuries. Mercy's team works with patients to determine the best treatment options for their shoulder pain and weakness due to rotator cuff injuries.

About the Condition

The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons that connect the upper arm and shoulder blade and hold the ball of the arm bone into the shoulder socket. A rotator cuff injury occurs when these muscles and tendons become irritated or damaged. Tendonitis or bursitis can cause the rotator cuff muscles and tendons to become inflamed. Lifting or pulling heavy objects, repetitive movements or falling on the shoulder can cause strain or tears of the muscles and tendons. With age, bone spurs or calcium deposits can develop in the rotator cuff causing pain.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Shoulder pain, especially when moving the arm above the head or behind the back
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Decreased range of motion

An orthopedic surgeon can diagnose a rotator cuff injury during a physical exam. Sometimes diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray, MRI or ultrasound scan, may be performed to view the extent of the rotator cuff injury.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Rotator cuff injuries most often can be treated with physical therapy. Corticosteroid injections also may be used to relieve shoulder pain. For large rotator cuff tears, surgery may be the best treatment option. Rotator cuff tears can be repaired through traditional open surgery or arthroscopic surgery and sometimes bone spurs or calcium deposits are removed at the same time. When rotator cuff injuries begin to cause severe arthritis, a partial or total shoulder replacement may be necessary.   

Meet Our Doctors: Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist & Hand Center
Dr. Kamala Littleton, Orthopedic Surgeon
Kamala Littleton, M.D.

Dr. Kamala Littleton specializes in joint replacement and reconstruction for the hip, knee and shoulder. Her areas of expertise include anterior hip replacement, MAKO knee resurfacing, minimally invasive total knee replacement and ACL reconstruction.

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