Rotator Cuff Injuries, Exercises and Surgery - Dr. Eric Price, Sports Medicine Specialist

Uploaded by orlincohen on 11.02.2011

Hi, I am Dr. Eric Price, a Sports Medicine Specialist at Orlin and Cohen Orthopedic 
Associates.  Today, I will be talking about rotator cuff injuries.  
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles in your shoulder whose job it is to raise
your arm overhead and rotate your shoulder in and out. 
The rotator cuff is used during many daily activities as well as during sports.   
For example, when you reach into your refrigerator to get something or when you are paddling
your surfboard, you are using your rotator cuff.
People with rotator cuff injuries often complain of pain on the side of the shoulder and will
sometimes have pain when they sleep on their side.  
The rotator cuff can be inflamed, a condition called bursitis, or it can be torn and detached. 
Patients with bursitis will often respond well to Cortisone injections, anti-inflammatory
medications, and physical therapy.  Patients that have a tear will usually need to have
surgery to repair the torn muscle.  Surgery is done with a surgical camera called an arthroscope,
or a scope.    The scope is a video camera about the size
of a pencil.  While a patient is asleep under anesthesia, I insert the scope into the shoulder,
and the images from inside the shoulder are projected on to a video monitor. 
During surgery, I make small incisions around the shoulder to allow me to place instruments
in and out of the shoulder to repair the rotator cuff with minimal external scars.  After
surgery, a sling is necessary to allow the repaired muscle to heal properly.  Physical
therapy is often required for several months after surgery to insure a full recovery.  
Simple exercises can be done at your home or the gym to strengthen your rotator cuff. 
A resistance rubber band that you can get at a local sporting goods store is really
all you need.   The first exercise is done by stepping on
the resistance band and raising your arm up in front of you with your elbow straight. 
The second exercise is done by tying it to a doorknob, pinning your elbow to your side,
and rotating away from your body.   The third exercise is done by doing the same
thing but pulling the rubber band towards your abdomen, keeping in mind to keep your
elbow tucked into your torso.  These exercises will isolate and strengthen your rotator cuff
to make it as healthy as possible.  I recommend that these be done in sets of
10, for 3 sets, every other day.    For more information about rotator cuff injuries, please
visit the patient information section of our website,  For an
appointment to see me about your shoulder, or any sports medicine injury, or to see any
of our highly qualified sub specialists, please call 516-536-2800 or visit us on the web.