Rotator cuff tears are a common yet debilitating shoulder injury that can severely impact daily activities and overall quality of life. Near Ephrata, PA, Dr. Michael Bercik is a renowned orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder conditions. His expertise and patient-centered approach have made significant strides in the field, offering hope and healing to those suffering from this condition.

What are the Symptoms?

Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist Ephrata, PAThe symptoms of rotator cuff tears can vary depending on the severity of the tear but generally include:

  • Pain at rest and at night, mainly if lying on the affected shoulder
  • Pain when lifting and lowering the arm or with specific movements
  • Weakness when lifting or rotating the arm
  • Crackling sensation (crepitus) when moving the shoulder in certain positions
  • Limited range of motion and difficulty with activities that involve raising the arm
  • Swelling and tenderness in the shoulder area

What are the Risk Factors?

Risk factors for rotator cuff tears include:

  • Age: The risk increases as people age, particularly over 40, due to the wear and tear of tendons.
  • Occupations: Jobs that require repetitive arm movements, especially overhead activities, can increase the risk.
  • Sports: Athletes who regularly use repetitive arm motions, such as baseball pitchers, tennis players, and archers, are at higher risk.
  • Previous injuries: Individuals with a prior shoulder injury are at a higher risk of a rotator cuff tear.
  • Lack of blood supply: As you age, the blood supply to your rotator cuff tendons lessens, impairing the body’s natural ability to repair tendon damage, leading to a tear.
  • Wear and tear: Over time, daily wear and tear on your shoulder can contribute to tendon degeneration, increasing the likelihood of tears.

Surgical Intervention for Rotator Cuff Tears

Initial treatment of rotator cuff tears often involves conservative methods, including tailored physical therapy programs, anti-inflammatory medication, and injection therapy aimed at reducing inflammation and facilitating recovery without surgical intervention.

In cases where conservative treatment measures are not enough, rotator cuff surgery aims to repair torn tendons in the shoulder, improving function and reducing pain. Surgical approaches for rotator cuff tears typically include:

  • Open repair involves a larger incision over the shoulder to directly access and repair the rotator cuff. It might be used for large or complex tears.
  • Arthroscopic Repair: A minimally invasive procedure that uses a small camera (arthroscope) and instruments inserted through small incisions around the shoulder, allowing Dr. Bercik to view the shoulder joint on a video screen and perform the repair.
  • Mini-Open Repair: This procedure combines arthroscopic techniques with a smaller open procedure. The arthroscope helps assess and treat damage to other shoulder structures. At the same time, the mini-open approach focuses on repairing the rotator cuff with a smaller incision than the traditional open repair.

Recovery times can vary, generally lasting several months. Early stages focus on pain management and reducing inflammation, followed by gradual rehabilitation exercises to restore range of motion, strength, and functionality.

The Road to Recovery with Dr. Bercik

Choosing Dr. Michael Bercik for rotator cuff injury treatment means opting for a level of care that combines surgical excellence with a deep understanding of the shoulder’s role in patients’ lives. His holistic approach to treatment, focus on innovative techniques, and dedication to patient education set him apart. Patients under Dr. Bercik’s care can look forward to a comprehensive treatment plan designed with their unique needs in mind, paving the way for a successful recovery path. If you or a loved one are suffering from a rotator cuff tear in Ephrata, PA, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Bercik at 717.560.4200 or request an appointment online.