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Rotator Cuff

OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare -  - Orthopedic Sports Medicine Surgeon

OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare

Orthopedic Sports Medicine Surgeons, Plastic, Microvascular, & Hand Surgeons, and Surgical Oncology located in San Diego, CA, Temecula, CA, & Encinitas, CA

Rotator cuff tears are the most common shoulder injury, with over 22% of Americans suffering from the disorder every year. Any injury to your rotator cuff leaves it unstable and prone to further injury, which is why getting the right treatment is so important. David Chow, MD, and the expert team at OasisMD have helped countless patients in Encinitas, San Diego, and Temecula, California, with shoulder injuries and can provide accurate diagnoses and the most up-to-date treatments. If you suffer a shoulder injury, call the office or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.

Rotator Cuff Q & A

What is a rotator cuff and how does it tear?

Your rotator cuff is a network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold your shoulder’s ball and socket joint in place. A rotator cuff tear happens when any of these components are injured or stressed from overuse. 

Rotator cuff injuries are most common in athletes and people who work in physically demanding environments, where you may have to perform the same movement repeatedly and frequently. 

If you need to practice the same movement to perfect your free-throw in basketball, for example, you are at a higher risk of developing a rotator cuff tear.

Other factors that increase your chances of this injury are a family history of shoulder pain and a previous injury to the same site.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

The main symptom of a rotator cuff tear is pain, which can range from severe, sharp pain to a mild, dull ache in your shoulder. You may notice your arm is weaker than usual and hurts when it’s in motion, making it harder to do movements like reaching behind your back.

How do you treat rotator cuff tears?

During your physical exam the practice’s orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Chow puts pressure on various points of your shoulder and moves it into different positions to assess the extent of your injury. 

Dr. Chow may also order additional imaging tests like an MRI scan or X-ray to better visualize the inside of your shoulder and to rule out other underlying issues like arthritis, which may be the cause of your shoulder pain.

Depending on whether you’ve strained or completely torn your rotator cuff, Dr. Chow can recommend:

Physical therapy

The practice has an on-site physical therapy gym with state-of-the-art equipment designed to support you while you exercise your shoulder to regain strength, flexibility, and a fuller range of motion.


For injuries that don’t respond to physical therapy, Dr. Chow recommends surgery to repair your rotator cuff.

To learn more about the various diagnostic tests and treatments for rotator cuff injuries at OasisMD, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment.