woman talking to doctor about shoulder pain

Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment in Central GA

What is a Rotator Cuff Injury?

The shoulder relies on several anatomical structures for healthy and fluid movement. One such component is the rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons that help to move the shoulder and arm in multiple different ways. These muscles surround the shoulder joint and are vital for shoulder strength and stability. Injuries to the rotator cuff are extremely common and primarily occur due to wear and tear of the shoulder over time. Athletes who play sports with repetitive shoulder and upper arm movements, like swimming, tennis, and baseball, are also at risk of rotator cuff injury.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or weakness, a rotator cuff injury may be to blame. At OrthoGeorgia, our shoulder and sports medicine specialists work with patients of all ages to diagnose and treat rotator cuff injuries, whether they happen on the sports field, at work, or at home. We will determine the cause of your symptoms and help you find relief through a personalized treatment plan. Learn more about rotator cuff injuries below, and contact OrthoGeorgia for help getting back to doing what you love today!

What are the Different Types of Shoulder Injuries?

As the muscles and tissues within the shoulder break down over time, certain injuries become more likely to occur. Several symptoms suggest that a rotator cuff injury may be present. Not all rotator cuff injuries cause pain, but when they do, the pain usually occurs at the top part of the arm or shoulder and worsens when you lift your arm or lie on the affected shoulder. Some of the most common shoulder injuries include:

  • Rotator cuff tears – Tears of the rotator cuff can occur suddenly or over a long period of time. Tears that occur suddenly are typically traumatic in nature and can be quite disabling.  Partial thickness and full-thickness rotator cuff tear can, and often do, happen over time.  These injuries can cause pain, loss of motion and significant shoulder weakness.
  • Bursitis – The space between the rotator cuff and the shoulder bones is padded by a fluid-filled sac called a bursa. Bursitis occurs when there is too much compression in the shoulder area. This leads to swelling, pain, and tenderness in the shoulder and arm.
  • Tendinitis – Tendinitis is the inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons. This injury usually occurs due to overuse and is common in athletes who participate in overhead sports. Symptoms of shoulder tendinitis include pain, soreness, and an inability to perform daily activities.
  • Shoulder impingement – Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff rubs on the bones of the shoulder. This leads to swelling of the associated tendons, and can eventually lead to a rotator cuff tear if left untreated.

How is a Rotator Cuff Injury Diagnosed?

When you come to see one of our orthopaedic shoulder specialists at OrthoGeorgia, we will take the time to learn about your symptoms and understand what led to your injury. Your doctor will examine your shoulder, check your range of motion, and assess any areas of pain. They will also test your overall shoulder and arm strength and ask what makes your pain better or worse. Depending on the nature of your rotator cuff injury, your doctor may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, an ultrasound, or an MRI. Digital X-ray services are offered at all OrthoGeorgia office locations, with MRI scans available in Macon and Warner Robins.

How are Rotator Cuff Injuries Treated in Central GA?

Treatment for your rotator cuff injury will depend on the type of injury you have sustained and how severe it is. Minor injuries can often be addressed with conservative treatment methods, while more serious rotator cuff injuries may require surgery. No matter what your treatment plan entails, your care team at OrthoGeorgia will answer your questions every step of the way.

Nonsurgical Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment

As mentioned above, treatment for your specific rotator cuff injury will depend on its severity. Other factors your doctor may consider when creating your treatment plan include your age, activity levels, and symptoms. Treatment for a rotator cuff injury normally begins with nonsurgical techniques. Your doctor may advise you to rest, modify activities, put ice on the injured area, and take certain pain relievers (Tylenol or Ibuprofen) to reduce discomfort and swelling. From there, your doctor may suggest physical therapy, which can be very helpful in cases of injury to the rotator cuff. 

When you work with one of our physical therapists at OrthoGeorgia, they will take the time needed to get to know you and your injury and create a personalized care plan for you. Exercises tailored to the specific location of your injury can help you regain flexibility and strength. Our physical therapy locations in Macon, Warner Robins, and Kathleen utilize state-of-the-art equipment and specialized physical therapy treatments to help each patient get back to living and moving without pain.

Surgery for Rotator Cuff Injuries in Central GA

Severe rotator cuff injuries may require surgery. If your OrthoGeorgia shoulder specialist determines that surgery is the best next step for you, they will make sure any questions you have are answered and that you are fully prepared for your procedure. The specific procedure you undergo will depend on your injury. Many surgical procedures are available to address rotator cuff injuries, including arthroscopic tendon repair, open tendon repair and even shoulder replacement. A shoulder replacement may be indicated in non-repairable rotator cuff injuries. A Reverse total shoulder replacement, an innovative surgical technique, is often used in these cases, as it relies on the deltoid muscle to power the shoulder’s movement rather than the damaged rotator cuff muscles. No matter what type of surgery you undergo, physical therapy is likely to be a crucial part of your recovery. You should follow your doctor’s instructions and work collaboratively with your care team to achieve a successful recovery.

Total Joint Replacement Specialists at OrthoGeorgia

Dr. Jonathan Harris headshot
Jonathan S. Harris, MD
Jorgenson 500px
Dennis K. Jorgensen, MD
Kinnebrew 500px
Todd E. Kinnebrew, MD
Dr. Gregory Lee headshot
Gregory P. Lee, MD
Ludwig 500px
Brian J. Ludwig, MD
Dr. Wood Pope headshot
Wood D. Pope, MD
Dr. Joseph Slappey headshot
Joseph E. Slappey Jr., MD
Stapleton 500px
Timothy R. Stapleton, MD
Dr. Richard Thomas headshot
Richard J. Thomas, MD
Thornsberry 500px
Robert M. Thornsberry, MD
dr toth headshot
Matthew J. Toth, MD
Dr. Zaneb Yaseen headshot
Zaneb Yaseen, MD

Total Joint Care Locations

Location Icon HeroMacon

Macon Urgent Care

3708 Northside Drive, Building A, Macon, GA 31210

Call (478) 745-4206

Location Icon HeroMacon Spine Center

Spine Center

3708 Northside Drive, Building B, Macon, GA 31210

Call (478) 745-4206

Location Icon HeroWarner Robins

Warner Robins Urgent Care

301 Margie Drive, Warner Robins, GA 31088

Call (478) 971-1153

Location Icon HeroKathleen

Kathleen Orthopaedic Center

2510 GA-127, Kathleen, GA 31047

Call (478) 971-1153

Location Icon HeroMilledgeville

OrthoGeorgia Milledgeville office

2803 North Columbia Street, Suite D, Milledgeville, GA 31061

Call (478) 414-5820

Location Icon HeroHawkinsville


222 Perry Hwy, Bldg B, Hawkinsville, GA 31036, USA

Call (478) 971-1153

Awards and Affiliations

Viewers Choice 2024
The Telegraph Best of 2021
Greater Macon Business of Year
Go Beyond Proffit Member
Top 100
AAAHC Accreditation
ACR Radiology Computed
ACR Radiology Magnetic
ACR Radiology Magnetic
TheOrthoForum Member
Greater Macon Business of Year