Warning Signs of a Rotator Cuff Tear

Warning Signs of a Rotator Cuff Tear

Warning Signs of a Rotator Cuff Tear


Shoulder pain can be caused by a lot of things. But if the pain is accompanied by weakness or stiffness, then you may be looking at a rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint, and they are responsible for helping you lift your arm and rotate it. A tear in any of these muscles can severely impact your ability to do everyday activities like brushing your hair and lifting objects.

If you suspect that you have a rotator cuff tear, it’s crucial to see an orthopedic surgeon right away. An experienced surgeon will be able to diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment plan that works best for you. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the warning signs of a rotator cuff tear to help you know when it’s time to see a specialist.


1. Pain when lifting your arm

The most common symptom of a rotator cuff tear is pain when lifting your arm. You may feel a dull ache in your shoulder that intensifies when you try to lift your arm overhead. This can occur during activities like reaching for objects on a high shelf or throwing a ball.

2. Weakness in your shoulder

A rotator cuff tear can also cause weakness in your shoulder. You may notice that it’s harder to lift objects or perform tasks that require you to hold your arm out in front of you. Weakness can be caused by the muscle tear itself or by the protective muscle spasms that occur in response to the injury.

3. Stiffness in your shoulder

Stiffness is another common symptom of a rotator cuff tear. It can make it difficult to move your shoulder or perform activities that require a wide range of motion. You may also feel a clicking or popping sensation in your shoulder when you try to move it.

4. Limited range of motion

A rotator cuff tear can also cause a limited range of motion. You may find it difficult to move your arm in certain directions, or you may feel a sense of tightness in your shoulder. This can impact your ability to perform everyday activities like getting dressed or combing your hair.

5. Snapping or crackling sounds

In some cases, a rotator cuff tear can produce a snapping or crackling sound in the shoulder. This occurs when the torn muscle rubs against other structures in the shoulder joint. While not a definitive sign of a rotator cuff tear, this symptom should be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon to rule out other issues.



If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to see an orthopedic surgeon for a thorough examination. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage and improve your chances of a full recovery. At Central Florida Bone and Joint Institute, we offer personalized treatment plans that are tailored to your unique needs. If you're looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs, FL, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our orthopedic services.