The rotator cuff consists of a group of 4 muscles and tendons that are involved in shoulder movement. Inflammation of one or more of these tendons is common and present with pain on elevation and movement of the arm.
These commonly occur in athletes or in professions which involve over-head activities. Repetitive movement is thought to be the cause but can also occur with a single injury.
Treatment includes pain relief medication and muscle strengthening exercises of the rotator cuff and the scapular muscles. These are performed with the help and guidance of physiotherapists or osteopaths. The majority of patients improve with this.
Those patients who continue to complain of pain, can have a steroid injection. These can be successful in 60-70% of patients, but symptoms can recur.
If all the above fails, a keyhole surgery can be performed. This is called arthroscopic subacromial decompression.