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The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles around the shoulder that keeps the upper arm bone in place. It keeps the shoulder joint stable and allows you to raise and rotate your arm.
Damage to the rotator cuff can be caused by overuse, a fall, or a direct blow to the shoulder area, which can tear the tendons. Over time, everyday wear can damage the tendons and make injury more likely.
Treatment can depend upon the amount of damage to the tendons. In a younger person, surgery may be the first choice. But if you are older than 25, you likely have some wear on your rotator cuff. Surgery may not be the most effective treatment. Your doctor may have you try physiotherapy and exercise first.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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