About Surgery

If you suffer from a rotator cuff injury or condition, you need experienced surgeons who specialize in shoulder disorders. The orthopedic surgeons at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute are all fellowship-trained and focus exclusively on shoulder conditions and surgeries. No matter how complex your injury or condition, we have the skills and the expertise to find an effective solution for you. As leaders in the field, we develop advanced new surgical methods and even teach surgical procedures to surgeons around the country.

Whenever possible, we offer you minimally invasive surgical techniques, which use smaller incisions and sophisticated instruments to repair your injury with a faster, less painful recovery than traditional surgery. We also specialize in innovative procedures including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. We’ll spend time with you and your family to explain your condition and develop a treatment plan that will be most effective for you. Our priority is eliminating your pain and helping you feel healthy and strong once again.

What is a rotator cuff injury?

Three bones form the shoulder joint, including the collarbone, the upper arm bone, and the shoulder blade. Together, these bones give the shoulder its wide range of motion. Attached to the shoulder is a group of muscles known collectively as the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff keeps your arm in place while allowing your arm to move freely. When the rotator cuff is injured, it can cause pain and decreased range of motion.

What kinds of injuries affect the rotator cuff?

Rotator Cuff Tear

These tears are a common cause of shoulder pain and disability in adults and can seriously inhibit many daily activities, like combing your hair or getting dressed. This type of injury typically results from a wearing down of the tendon, which occurs slowly over time. It can also be caused by sudden trauma. There are two types of rotator cuff tears:

  • Partial thickness tear – The tendon tissue frays, but does not completely tear.
  • Full thickness tear – The tendon tissue tears into two pieces.

Tendinosis and Bursitis

Tendonitis and bursitis, both inflammatory conditions, are the most common causes of shoulder pain and stiffness. They can result from repetitive motion—such as in sports—or from a serious, sudden injury. The conditions are most common in adults older than 40, as the tendons have aged and are more susceptible to injury.

  • Tendonitis occurs when tendons in the rotator cuff become inflamed or irritated.
  • Tendinosis occurs when damage to the tendon develops over time from a previous injury or injuries that did not heal completely.
  • Bursitis occurs when the fluid-filled sac that protects the space between tendons and bones becomes inflamed or irritated.

What are the symptoms?

In general, rotator cuff injuries can cause the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain, which can vary from mild to severe
  • Shoulder or upper arm pain that awakens you at night
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Shoulder tenderness
  • Difficulty raising and lowering the arm
  • Cracking sound when you move the shoulder

How is it diagnosed?

The orthopedic surgeons at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute are experts at diagnosing rotator cuff injuries. Our initial exam seeks to rule out other causes of your pain, and generally includes:

  • Medical history evaluation – This includes asking questions about when your pain began, what makes the pain feels most severe, and if you have had other injuries in the affected location. Other questions may be about whether you have other medical problems and if you take any medications.
  • Physical exam – Your orthopedist will examine your shoulder to check for areas of sensitivity, determine your arm strength, and your shoulder flexibility.
  • Imaging tests – Your orthopedist may want to examine the bones and joints themselves using a variety of imaging techniques, including:
    • X-ray, which can help determine if you have a bone spur, which is a growth on the bones that can cause inflammation
    • Ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create a picture of your shoulder tissues, and can show inflammation and tears
    • MRI, which uses powerful magnets and computer technology to create a picture of your shoulder tissues that may indicate the size and age of your rotator cuff tear

What are the best treatment options?

The orthopedists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute have specialized expertise in treating rotator cuff injuries. We aim to ease your pain and restore your strength and range of motion. We offer the following conservative treatments options:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatory or pain medication
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy

 

When your injuries do not heal with conservative treatment options, our physicians may recommend arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery to properly restore your shoulder function.

 

If you believe you may be suffering from a rotator cuff injury, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating rotator cuff injuries and are pleased to offer comprehensive shoulder care in the Washington, D.C. area.

Our Specialists

Shoulder & Elbow

Brent Bowie Wiesel, MD

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – McLean

Sports Medicine

Evan H. Argintar, MD
Evan H. Argintar, MD
Sports Medicine

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Emmanuel Asare O Atiemo, MD

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
Vestinia P. Bridges, MD

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
Wiemi Abell Douoguih, MD

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Daniel Mark Hampton, MD

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
David Charles Johnson, MD

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
John A. Kuri, II, MD
John A. Kuri, II, MD
Orthopedic Sports Medicine

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
Carter Wallace Mitchell, MD

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
William Postma, MD
William Postma, MD
Sports Medicine

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – McLean
Steven James Svoboda, MD

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Mitchellville
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Melissa Ann Yadao, MD
Melissa Ann Yadao, MD
Sports Medicine
PhonePhone: 866-767-1682

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lake Ridge

General Orthopedics

John P. Byrne, MD
John P. Byrne, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
Dennis A. Carlini, MD
Dennis A. Carlini, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lorton
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
Shaun Kumar Khosla, MD
Shaun Kumar Khosla, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lake Ridge
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lorton
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
Bruce Robert Knolmayer, MD
Bruce Robert Knolmayer, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Kevin McMahon, MD
Kevin McMahon, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Edward C. Rabbitt, MD
Edward C. Rabbitt, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
Jeffrey D. Sabloff, MD
Jeffrey D. Sabloff, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf

Locations

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest Washington, DC, 20007
Phone: 202-444-8766
18109 Prince Philip Drive, Suite 325 Olney, MD, 20832
Phone: 301-774-8958
25500 Point Lookout Road, Suite 250 Leonardtown, MD, 20650
Phone: 240-434-7483
106 Irving Street Northwest, Washington, DC, 20010
Phone: 202-877-6000
1120 20th Street Northwest, Building 1 South Washington, DC, 20036
Phone: 202-416-2000
13950 Brandywine Road, 2nd Floor Brandywine, MD, 20613
Phone: 301-856-1682
5454 Wisconsin Avenue, 11th Floor Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
Phone: 301-215-9423
6355 Walker Lane, Suite 501 Alexandria, VA, 22310
Phone: 703-971-3701
12825 Minnieville Road, Suite 203 Woodbridge, VA, 22192
Phone: 703-971-3701
6858 Old Dominion Drive, Suite 200 Mc Lean, VA, 22101
Phone: 202-444-8766
11325 Pembrooke Square, Suite 115 Waldorf, MD, 20603
Phone: 301-856-1682