Your rotator cuff is the network of muscles and tendons that hold your arm in your shoulder socket. Rotator cuff injuries are common among adults. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, nearly 2 million people in the United States sought medical treatment for rotator cuff tears in 2008 alone.
A torn or injured rotator cuff will weaken your arm, making everyday activities more difficult to accomplish. You may have trouble lifting things, brushing your hair or even getting dressed in the morning. If you have shoulder or arm pain or weakness, and suspect you have a torn or injured rotator cuff, contact us immediately. We can help.
Non-surgical treatment options for a torn rotator cuff
Approximately half of all rotator cuff injuries respond well to non-surgical treatment options, such as rest, steroids or physical therapy. When you come to Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center with shoulder pain, we will discuss a variety of non-surgical treatment options that may work to relieve your pain and heal your shoulder. Depending upon your injury, we may try:
- change in behavior, so as to avoid movements that cause shoulder pain
- anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- strength-building exercises and/or physical therapy
- steroid injection
Click here to watch a few strength-building videos that may help prevent or rehabilitate a torn rotator cuff. If you are already suffering shoulder pain, please do not attempt these exercises until first speaking to one of our shoulder specialists.
Surgical treatment options for a torn rotator cuff
Some rotator cuff injuries simply do not respond to non-surgical treatment or physical therapy. Other injuries may be too severe to treat without surgery. In general, we will consider surgical treatment for your rotator cuff tear if:
- your pain or weakness has persisted for 6 months or longer
- you have a large tear in your rotator cuff
- you are suffering from significant weakness and/or loss of function in your shoulder or arm
- your rotator cuff tear was caused by a recent or severe injury
Our surgical options fit into three categories:
- Open Surgery is often required if the tear is large or complex, or if additional reconstruction is required.
- Mini Open Surgery combines elements of arthroscopic surgery and open surgery, and allows the surgeon to use a smaller incision when repairing the torn rotator cuff.
- Arthroscopic surgery is the least invasive of the surgical treatment options, and is often completed as an outpatient procedure. During arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon inserts a small camera — an arthroscope — into the shoulder joint, and uses the video images provided by the camera to guide miniature surgical instruments and make the repair. Several of our surgeons specialize in arthroscopic surgery.
Start on your path to recovery today
If you suspect you have a torn or injured rotator cuff, please contact us today @ 540.347.9220 (Warrenton location) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville location.) Whether your shoulder requires rest, physical therapy or arthroscopic surgery, the shoulder specialists of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center are here to help. Learn more @ www.broava.com.
What exactly is a pinched nerve? A pinched nerve occurs when one or more of our nerves are affected due to pressure surrounding tissues such as bones, cartilage, muscles, or tendons.
Results of a Pinched Nerve
- Sharp or burning pain
- Difficulty controlling specific muscles
- Muscle weakness
A pinched nerve can transpire several places in the body. Here are a few tips to try –
- Analgesic medications – Aspirin, or anti-inflammatory, (ibuprofen) can control the pain.
- Ice – Ice is an anti-inflammatory. It will also relieve pain. Most often we turn to heat to ease the pain however, this can cause further inflammation and more pain!
- Physical Therapy – Ice therapy combined with gentle stretching can help relax the affected area.
- Injections – A localized steroid injection may reduce swelling and inflammation around the pinched nerve. This is done on an outpatient basis by a physician.
Please see your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last for more than a few days and don’t improve with conservative treatments as listed above. Depending on your condition, surgery may be required.
The physicians, pain medicine specialists, and physical therapists of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center can help. Our goal is to get you back to good health. Please contact us today @ 540.347.9220 to schedule an appointment or visit www.broava.com for more information on the comprehensive services we offer.
What you Need to Know About Tennis Elbow!
Tennis elbow known as lateral epicondylitis or lateral epicondylalgia is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes irritated with soreness or tenderness. The name “tennis elbow” has a unique link to racquet sports but can also be caused by other activities such as climbing, swimming, manual workers, playing instruments and everyday life activities! Repetitive moments are usually the culprit.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
- Morning stiffness
- Pain on the outer part of the elbow
- Pain when gripping or extension of the wrist
- Soreness in forearm
Tips for Preventing Tennis Elbow Injury
- Stretching is a must! Stretch your fingers, wrist, forearm and shoulder muscles before you begin. Don’t forget to follow up with a proper cool down afterwards. Ice is recommended for your shoulder and elbows.
- Use proper form. Don’t flick your wrist when striking the ball. Try using both arms when contacting the ball; this will cause less exertion from just one arm.
- Make sure your grip is the right size for you. Grip size can be obtained by measuring the distance from the crease of your palm to the tip of the ring finger. Don’t hold the grip too tightly.
- Tension levels for racquet strings should be evaluated and recommended by a professional.
- Counterforce braces can relive some tension of the elbow during your session.
- Listen to your body! Above all – this is critical. If you are a beginner start slowly with your activities. Even if you are an experienced athlete your body will tell you when to stop!
If you feel you might be suffering with tennis elbow, or any joint problems, Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center can help. Whether you require physical therapy, pain management, or diagnosis and treatment from any of our expert physicians, we provide the patient care you deserve. Our GOAL-Get YOU back to GOOD HEALTH. Call us today @ 540.347.9220 to speak with a specialist or visit us at www.BroAva.com.
When arthritis occurs in the shoulder, the cartilage of the ball and socket (glenohumerl joint) is almost to the point of gone and the bone rubs on bone. This type of arthritis can occur from injury, degenerative joint disease, and of course aging.
Signs and Symptoms –
- Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
- Loss of motion
- Inability to carry objects or use the arm
- Shoulder pain at night
There are several treatment options available for arthritis of the shoulder such as – if arthritis is detected early on it can be managed with mild analgesics (pain medicines) and gentle exercises. Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation department offers aquatic therapy which is known as a “gentle” exercise and is provided by a trained and licensed physical therapist. Injections of anti-inflammatory steroids, the application of ice and hot moist packs are also very effective in relieving pain.
When exercise and medications no longer do the trick for shoulder pain, shoulder replacement surgery may be considered. If you are suffering with shoulder pain and unsure of the cause, you should seek medical attention from a specialist. Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are many causes of this problem. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms so the appropriate treatment plan can be put into place. To speak to one of our shoulder specialists please call us @ 540.347.9220 or visit www.broava.com for more information on shoulder pain.
Normally, the shoulder has a wide range of motion, making it the most mobile joint in the body. However, because of its flexibility it is not very stable and is easily injured. Our shoulders are one of the most important joints to perform activities in our everyday routines. While there is a lot of buzz about shoulder injuries in athletes, they can affect everyone. To keep your shoulders healthy and pain-free, it’s important to know how to spot common injury symptoms to avoid aggravating your condition and possibly causing a more serious injury.
Warning Signs of a Shoulder Injury
If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your shoulder stiff? Can you rotate your arm in all the normal positions?
- Does it feel like your shoulder could pop out or slide out of the socket?
- Do you lack the strength in your shoulder to carry out your daily activities?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you should consult an orthopaedic surgeon for help in determining the severity of your injury.
Common Shoulder Injuries
- Frozen Shoulder
- Inflammatory (Rheumatoid) Arthritis
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Shoulder Instability
- Impingement Syndrome
- SLAP Lesion
Common Treatment of Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder pain is a common orthopaedic condition. Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center can help you recover from these common injuries. Our surgeons have specialty training and experience to treat shoulder problems, both surgically and non-surgically.
- SLAP Repair
- Bankart Repair
- Shoulder Replacement
- Surgery for Shoulder Impingement
Talk to our shoulder experts. Shoulder care at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center is administered by our certified doctors: Dr. Ralph Garretson, Dr. Robert Smith and Dr. James Ward. Call Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center today to schedule an appointment at 540-347-9220 or visit us online at www.BroAva.com for more information on our comprehensive services. We are the only center in the region to offer complete orthopaedic care for all orthopaedic injuries and treatments. In addition, we now have two convenient locations in Warrenton and Gainesville to offer the best care possible for our patients. Our goal – get YOU back to good health!