Our Services / Rotator Cuff Tear

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Rotator Cuff Tear services offered in Leawood and Merriam, KS

A rotator cuff tear can make raising or rotating your arm painful and difficult. Orthopedic shoulder surgeon H. Scott Ellsworth, MD, of the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, can assess your injury at his offices in Leawood, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Ellsworth has considerable experience repairing rotator cuff tears using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. Call the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance today or book an appointment online to receive the highest quality care for your rotator cuff tear.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

The rotator cuff consists of muscles connected to the shoulder bones by tendons. It enables you to move your arm in many directions. The rotator cuff also helps stabilize the joint. If you put too much pressure on the muscles and tendons, they can stretch and tear.

Rotator cuff tears are seen frequently in people with active lives. Playing sports, especially when you do a lot of arm movements, increases your risk of a rotator cuff tear. So does doing a job that requires overhead work, and a fall at home can also tear your rotator cuff.

How is a rotator cuff tear treated?

To treat your rotator cuff tear successfully, Dr. Ellsworth needs to assess the injury. He examines the joint and then determines if you need X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI. These diagnostic imaging procedures show Dr. Ellsworth how your rotator cuff is damaged.

After assessing the injury, he develops a personalized treatment plan. Initial treatments can include:

  • Resting your shoulder
  • Wearing a sling or brace
  • Taking anti-inflammatory pain medication
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Having steroid injections 
  • Having platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Having stem cell injections

If your rotator cuff injury is mild to moderate, these treatments effectively heal the damaged tissues. More severe tears will likely require surgery.

What surgery would I need for a rotator cuff tear?

Dr. Ellsworth usually uses arthroscopic techniques to perform rotator cuff repairs. An arthroscope is an instrument fitted with a light and a miniature camera. Dr. Ellsworth makes a small cut in your shoulder just big enough for the arthroscope to pass through. He inserts the arthroscope through the incision to the shoulder joint.

When the arthroscope is in position, Dr. Ellsworth sees a lighted, magnified view of the joint on his monitor. He uses these images to guide other arthroscopic instruments. He may sew the damaged tissues together and remove badly damaged sections of tendon. Dr. Ellsworth can also reconstruct tendons that have separated from the bone.

Arthroscopy causes far less damage to your tissues than traditional open surgery. That means you experience less pain after the procedure and heal more quickly. Dr. Ellsworth does most rotator cuff tear repairs in this way.

But some patients might need conventional open surgery to get the best results.

Call the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance today or book an appointment online to benefit from Dr. Ellsworth’s expertise in treating rotator cuff tears.