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The rotator cuff refers to the tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder and allow us to raise and rotate our arms. Rotator cuff injuries can happen to all types of athletes who often use their arms in the overhead position, including baseball players, swimmers, tennis players, volleyball players and others.

Non-athletes can also suffer from torn rotator cuffs or injuries, especially people in their 40s or 50s who have normal wear and tear to the cuff. A sudden injury, fall or strain can further damage the rotator cuff and trigger symptoms.

Expert Diagnosis for Rotator Cuff Tears & Injuries

The first step is an accurate diagnosis made by a well-trained sports medicine physician. Often, a rotator cuff injury can be treated through a careful plan of physical therapy and rest from the sport or activity. If the injury is more severe and surgery is recommended, an MRI can confirm the extent of the injury.

Rotator Cuff Surgery

Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff or damaged rotator cuff can be done as an arthroscopic procedure, using small incisions, small instruments and a small camera, called an arthroscope. Some patients may need to have a traditional open procedure, which involves a longer incision.

Recovering from Rotator Cuff Repair

After surgery, a quality physical therapy and rehabilitation program is essential to regaining strength, range of motion and a safe return to normal activities, including sport.

Once a rotator cuff injury has been properly treated and fully healed, the Sports Medicine Center offers a Throwing Athlete Program to improve performance and help prevent injury.

Recognized as High Performing by U.S. News & World Report

Froedtert Hospital is nationally ranked in three adult specialties by U.S. News & World Report. Froedtert Hospital is also recognized as high performing in four adult specialties and 14 procedures and conditions, including orthopaedics. Learn more.