The rotator cuff covers the front, rear and upper surfaces of the shoulder-scapula. Its main function is the stabilization of the head of the humerus in the joint, the lifting of the arm and the rotational movements in the joint. Rotator cuff damage is one of the most common shoulder joint disorders. This problem most often affects people after 40. age, as well as young people playing sports.
Rotator cuff damage can result from degenerative changes in soft tissues, tendons and muscles of the shoulder girdle. The course of the damage is then chronic and may initially proceed without significant discomfort. In both sports and work, this type of injury can occur as a result of repetitive actions with the arm raised up. Damage to the rotator ring can also be acute, as a result of an injury, for example, a fall on an erect limb.
- pain and limitation of movement of the shoulder joint,
- muscle weakness in the shoulder area,
- shoulder pain may occur suddenly (e.g. after lifting a weight) or increase gradually,
- shoulder pain can occur at night and disturb sleep,
- sometimes there are twitching and jumping in the shoulder.
Diagnosis is based on medical history, clinical examination and imaging. From imaging studies, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and X-ray imaging (X-ray) are used to evaluate the rotator cuff. Ultrasound shows tendon damage and allows you to visualize the exact location of the damage and the accompanying other damage in the arm.
MRI examination with equal accuracy shows the pathology of the rotator cuff and the tendon of the head of the long biceps, and additionally allows you to evaluate all articular surfaces and bone structure of the shoulder. X-ray, on the other hand, can be very helpful to rule out other causes of similar ailments or concomitant damage i.e. calcification, traumatic or degenerative changes.