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Rotator Cuff Tear

Robert A. Mileski, MD -  - Sports Medicine Doctor

Phoenix Orthopedic Group

Robert A. Mileski, MD

Sports Medicine Doctor & Orthopedic Surgeon located in Scottsdale, AZ

Every year, almost two million Americans see their doctors for rotator cuff problems. If a rotator cuff tear or other shoulder injury is painful or prevents you from doing everyday tasks, orthopedic surgeon Robert Mileski, MD, and his team can help at Phoenix Orthopedic Group in Scottsdale, Arizona. They offer a full scope of surgical and non-surgical options for rotator cuff tears so you can regain shoulder strength and restore your quality of life. To learn more, call the Phoenix Orthopedic Group or schedule an appointment today.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that surround your shoulder joint and secure your upper arm bone into its shoulder socket. Rotator cuff tears happen when one or more rotator cuff tendons tear away and no longer fully attach to your arm bone.

These tears can be partial (incomplete tears) or full-thickness tears (complete tears). During a complete tear, the tendon separates from bone entirely.

What are the symptoms of rotator cuff tears?

Rotator cuff tears make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as combing your hair and lifting things above your head. If you have a rotator cuff tear, you might experience:

  • Shoulder or arm weakness
  • Chronic shoulder pain
  • Dull aching
  • Problems sleeping on your side
  • Difficulty reaching up or behind your head
  • Crackling when moving your shoulder

What causes rotator cuff tears?

Rotator cuff tears can happen as a result of:

  • Sports injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Repetitive overhead activity
  • Heaving lifting
  • Normal wear and tear

Factors that contribute to degenerative rotator cuff tears include repetitive stress, reduced blood supply, bone spurs rubbing against rotator cuff tendons, and shoulder impingement. Increased age and genetics also play roles in developing shoulder problems.

How are rotator cuff tears diagnosed?

To diagnose a rotator cuff tear, Dr. Mileski reviews your medical history and completes a thorough physical examination. He may also use imaging tests to make an accurate diagnosis and establish appropriate treatment plans.

What is the treatment for a rotator cuff tear?

To treat a rotator cuff tear, Dr. Mileski and his team may recommend the following:

Rest, heat, or ice

Resting your shoulder or applying heat or ice to it might restore it without further treatment.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist with Phoenix Orthopedic Group helps you strengthen and stretch your shoulder to ease pain and improve mobility.


Cortisone and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections help reduce shoulder pain, enhance healing, and restore function in your shoulder.

Shoulder surgery

Dr. Mileski might recommend shoulder surgery if less invasive treatments fail or a rotator cuff tear is severe. Surgical treatments for rotator cuff injuries include arthroscopic tendon repair, open tendon repair, tendon transfer, and shoulder replacements.

If a rotator cuff injury causes you pain or disrupts your life, schedule an appointment with Phoenix Orthopedic Group today by phone or online today.