Rotator Cuff Injury: Causes and Symptoms [Video]
Ask the Expert: Shoulder Video Series
About the video: What are the most common causes and symptoms of a rotator cuff injury?
Most rotator cuff injuries are more chronic and degenerative in nature. Listen to Summit Orthopedics’ experts Scott Pepin, M.D., Brent Warner, M.D., and Mark Holm, M.D. discuss the most common causes and symptoms of this type of shoulder injury.
Meet Dr. Scott Pepin
Dr. Pepin’s approach: “Having my own personal experiences in sustaining injuries and the subsequent recovery process helps provide me insight into my own patients’ conditions and what they are going through. I also understand the importance of and strive to help return my patients back to the activities they want to do, whether that be to walk around the block or return to high-level sports performance.”
Dr. Pepin’s education: After earning his undergraduate degree at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Pepin completed medical school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He then went on to complete his residency at Indiana University Department of Orthopedic Surgery in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as a Ortholndy Sports Medicine Fellowship in Indianapolis.
Meet Dr. Brent Warner
Dr. Warner’s approach: “As an athlete, I understand the profound impact that an injury can have on a patient’s life and well-being. My goal is to return people to activity as quickly and safely as possible, whether that’s training for an ultramarathon or walking the dog around the block.”
Dr. Warner’s education: Dr. Warner received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, NC. He completed his medical doctorate at the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, OH, and his residency took place at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. For advanced fellowship training, he attended the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, CO.
Meet Dr. Mark Holm
Dr. Holm’s approach: “Hand and arm injuries can change your life. Timely care done with a thoughtful plan can minimize the long term effect of an injury.”
Dr. Holm’s background: Dr. Holm began his studies in South Dakota, first earning his undergraduate degree at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, and later earning his medical degree at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in Vermillion. He went on to complete his residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and he also completed a Hand Surgery fellowship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
More resources for you
- Ask Dr. Skendzel About Torn Rotator Cuff Symptoms
- Watch the video: Shoulder Pain and Common Causes
- Recovering From A Dislocated Shoulder
Most rotator cuff injuries are more chronic and degenerative in nature. We see them more often in patients in their 50s through end of life even. And it’s just wear and tear over the years that they develop. Now, you can have traumatic rotator cuff injuries. And that could happen from a fall on the ice or dislocating your shoulder. But again, you see these more kind of fifth decade in life and on. Symptoms of that are usually insidious onset pain in the shoulder. Usually, that’s sort of on the top, or kind of down the side of the shoulder to some extent. And that pain is usually worse at night. It will often wake people up from sleep, and then worsen by use as well. Sometimes we’ll see someone who’s had an injury months ago, usually an older person. And they’ll say, “Doctor, I can’t raise my arm; it’s just too weak.” And we get a scan. And here they have a rotator cuff tear, a large one. And they don’t have all that much pain, but they just can’t lift their arm because the rotator cuff is important in lifting the arm.
“As an athlete, I understand the profound impact that an injury can have on a patient’s life and well-being. My goal is to return people to activity as quickly and safely as possible, whether that’s training for an ultramarathon or walking the dog around the block.”
“Having my own personal experiences in sustaining injuries and the subsequent recovery process helps provide me insight into my own patients’ conditions and what they are going through. I also understand the importance of and strive to help return my patients back to the activities they want to do, whether that be to walk around the block or return to high-level sports performance.”
With early diagnosis and treatment, swimmer’s shoulder won’t keep your athlete out of the water.
Meet the Expert: Doctor Bio Video Series
Our shoulder joint provides a wide range of motion, but injury or wear and tear can cause pain that limits mobility. Dr. Warner discusses the most common reasons for shoulder pain, and the treatments available.