Stephen W. Pournaras, Jr., MD – Hand Surgeon Fairfax

3998 Fair Ridge Dr., Suite 100 Fairfax, Va 22033

Stephen W. Pournaras, Jr., MD

Rotator Cuff Injuries

Orthopedic Surgeon Fairfax, VA

Rotator Cuff Tears & Injuries - Treatment in Fairfax VA

What Is A Rotator Cuff?

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder joint in place and allow you to move your arm and shoulder. Pain and other issues can occur when part of the rotator cuff becomes irritated or damaged. This can result in tenderness, weakness and reduced range of motion.

There are four tendons that stabilize you shoulder joint and help you to lift your arms above your head. These tendons connect to the four muscles that move in your shoulder. Rotator cuff damage occurs from an acute injury or as a result of repetitive strains and wear and tear to these tendons.

Generally, injuries occur to sports players that make repetitive, overhead movements, such as tennis. Minor strain injuries can progress to a partial tear of the tendons or a complete rupture of the muscles with loss of shoulder joint function.

Sometimes a complete tear can also happen in older adults who are less active. 

Symptom’s of A Rotator Cuff Injury 

Even the slightest movement can cause the sharpest pains in your shoulder. Every day movements such as getting dressed in the morning can cause you the most excruciating pain.  With a Rotator Cuff Injury, your range of motion becomes very limited. Your issues most of the time are different from another patients limitations, because everyone’s injury is different.

If you have injured your rotator cuff, you may experience difficulty, pain and weakness when you try raising, lowering or rotating your arm.

You may hear popping, clicking or crackling sounds or sensations when moving your arm in certain positions. As well as feel shoulder pain that worsens at night or when resting your arm.

Golfers Elbow Treatment , Fairfax VA
Fairfax Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine


A partial or complete rotator cuff tear can make it difficult to raise and move your arm. Especially with shoulder pain and arm weakness. Rotator cuff injuries are common, as you get older. Rest, pain relievers and physical therapy can help. Some patients need surgery to reattach a torn rotator cuff.


Physical therapy is generally one of the first treatments recommended. Specific exercises customized to the location of your rotator cuff injury. These excercises can help restore flexibility and strength to your shoulder. Physical therapy is also an important part of the recovery process after rotator cuff surgery.


A steroid injection into the shoulder joint is very helpful, especially if the pain is interfering with your sleep, daily activity. While injections can provide temporary relief, they may weaken your tendon and reduce the success of future shoulder surgery.

Rotator Cuff Surgery

Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff most often involves re-attaching the tendon to the head of the humerus (upper arm bone). A partial tear, however, may need only a trimming or smoothing procedure called a debridement. A complete tear is repaired by stitching the tendon back to its original site on the humerus.

Surgery can be the best option for a torn rotator cuff if your pain does not improve with non-surgical methods.

Continued pain is the main indication for surgery. If you are very active and use your arms for overhead work or sports, this is somethingt to consider.

Surgery is a good option if:

  • Symptoms have lasted 6 to 12 months or more
  • It has been determied that you have a large tear (more than 3 cm) 
  • You are experiencing  significant weakness and loss of function in your shoulder
  • Your tear was caused by a recent, acute trauma

If you have any questions about rotator cuff injuries or a sports injury

please contact us

Send your requests to 
[email protected]

We look forward to helping you.


Mon 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Tue 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Wed 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Thu 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sat Closed
Sun Closed

Get In Touch With Us:
CALL: 703.591.0077
FAX: 703.591.0080

      Skip to content