How to Detect a Rotator Cuff Tear

How to Detect a Rotator Cuff Tear

How to Detect a Rotator Cuff Tear


Shoulder pain is one of the most common reasons for patients visiting the doctor. A rotator cuff tear is one of the most prevalent injuries that cause discomfort and weakness in your shoulders, affecting your ability to carry out daily activities. Ignoring your symptoms and delaying treatment can cause additional complications, so it is critical to recognize the signs of a rotator cuff tear. In this article, we provide an overview of the telltale signs of a rotator cuff tear, as well as what patients need to know about seeking medical treatment. If you're seeking an orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute today for more information.


1. Pain and Tenderness

One of the first signs of a rotator cuff tear is pain and tenderness that worsens when sleeping or doing strenuous activities. The pain typically radiates along the deltoid muscle and can make it challenging to lift or lower your arm. Often, patients experience aching or dull pain in the shoulder or upper arm. In some cases, the pain may be accompanied by swelling and bruising.

2. Weakness

The severity of a rotator cuff tear can range from small to severe tears. Patients who have experienced a severe tear may experience weakness or the inability to lift objects. Weakness is typically noticed when lifting or extending your arm, performing overhead work, or reaching behind your back. Patients may also experience a clicking sound or popping sensation when moving their arm.

3. Limited Range of Motion

A rotator cuff tear can limit the range of motion of your shoulder and restrict your ability to reach, turn, or lift your upper arm. Some patients may experience stiffness in their shoulder, which can limit their ability to carry out their daily routine. If you have a rotator cuff tear, lifting your arm upwards or behind your back might become challenging.

4. Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff tendon gets pinched between the humeral head and the acromion bone. When this happens, inflammation, swelling, and pain can develop. Shoulder impingement can cause stiffness, weakness, and tenderness in your shoulder and make it hard to lift your arm. If left untreated, shoulder impingement can cause a rotator cuff tear.

5. Grinding or Popping

If you're experiencing rotator cuff tear, you may hear clicking or popping sounds when you move your arm. These clicking sounds may be accompanied by a grinding sensation or crackling noise. This sound is caused by the torn tissue rubbing against the joint and can worsen as the tear becomes more severe.



A rotator cuff tear is a debilitating and painful injury that can significantly impact your daily routine. If you're experiencing the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately. At Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute, we have an experienced team of orthopedic surgeons in Lake Mary, FL, who specialize in the treatment of rotator cuff tears. Don't wait for your symptoms to worsen- book an appointment with us today to receive the care you deserve.