Rotator Cuff Injury

Powell Orthopedics

Triple Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon located in Fayetteville and Bentonville, AR

You never truly appreciate the range of motion your shoulders provide your arms until you experience an injury that limits this motion. Such is the case with a rotator cuff tear. At Powell Orthopedics in Fayetteville and Bentonville, Arkansas, Dr. Mark W. Powell makes it his life’s work to help you overcome debilitating injuries such as these, helping you regain your freedom of movement. To learn how you can best treat your rotator cuff injury, call for a consultation or book an appointment online.

Rotator Cuff Injury Q & A

What is the rotator cuff?

Every time you scratch your back, reach for something, or simply eat, your rotator cuff is hard at work providing your arm the ability to move about freely. This incredible range of motion also puts a fair amount of strain on your rotator cuff, which it’s designed for, but when the strain is too much, injury is often the result.

To better understand a rotator cuff tear, it’s helpful to review the different components involved. Your upper arm and shoulder blade come together in a ball-and-socket joint. Holding it all together is the rotator cuff, which is formed by a group of muscles that join as tendons to cover the top of your humerus.

What causes rotator cuff tears?

The more you use your shoulder, the more wear and tear you put on your rotator cuff, which may begin to fray around the edges. Once weakened, your rotator cuff is prone to tearing, either partially or completely. A complete tear means your tendon is no longer attached to your bone. This degenerative tearing is the most common cause of rotator cuff injuries, but a tear can also stem from an acute injury.

How is a rotator cuff tear treated?

Dr. Powell has extensive experience treating rotator cuff injuries and works with you to find the best solution for your situation. To start, he performs a comprehensive examination in order to determine the extent and location of your tear, which he accomplishes through imaging, such as X-rays and MRIs.

With a diagnosis in hand, Dr. Powell reviews the options with you and helps you choose a treatment based on your goals. Typically, there are two ways you can go:

Nonsurgical treatment

Nonsurgical treatment typically includes a combination of the following:

  • Rest
  • Limiting use of your shoulder
  • Physical therapy and strengthening exercises
  • Steroid injection


If your tear is severe or it’s important that you quickly regain use of your shoulder, you’re in good hands with Dr. Powell, who’s a specialist in shoulder surgeries. He offers the latest, minimally-invasive arthroscopic and reconstructive techniques to restore and repair your rotator cuff.

To learn how you can best recover from a rotator cuff tear, call Powell Orthopedics, or book an appointment online.