Sports Medicine

Understanding Rotator Cuff Tendinitis – Info from OSPI

The rotator cuff is a grouping of four muscles and tendons attached to the inside of your shoulder joint. Together these muscles and tendons allow your shoulder to remain stable and to move inside of the shoulder joint.

So what is rotator cuff tendinitis?

Rotator cuff tendinitis is something that happens when the tendons inside of your rotator cuff become irritated. This irritation causes the lining of rotator cuff bursitisthe tendon to become inflamed. Normally this lining is very smooth and if it becomes inflamed it can lead to a significant torn tendon or muscle. When your tendon has been used too much or it becomes injured it can increase the chances of a torn tendon.

What usually happens is the soft tissues start to rub up against the bone of the shoulder. This leads to significant inflammation, swelling and pain.

What causes rotator cuff tendinitis?

Your shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. This means that you have a socket and a ball inside of which your bones sit. The top part of the arm bone joins together with the shoulder blade. And the rotator cuff is what holds the top of your arm bone inside of your shoulder blade and is responsible for controlling your movement.

Tendinitis happens when the tendons inside of this area move underneath the bone while they are still attached to the top part of your arm. This can take place if your tendon becomes inflamed and it can also happen when they regularly move and fray over the bone. Each time this happens it causes significantly more fraying to the shoulder. If this happens enough you can lead to a bone spur developing inside of the small area. Regular bone spurs can lead to rotator cuff tendinitis.

Most often rotator cuff tendinitis is caused by playing sports where you have to move your arm regularly over your head. This can include movements such as pitching during baseball or tennis. But it can also because by work, if you have to regularly move your arms over your head for your job. Painting and carpentry or to such examples of jobs where this can take place. Even gardening can lead to tendinitis.

The common symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis include mild pain when the arm is lifted above the head. When you try to reach for something over your head or you ospi_smallbrush your hair you might experience mild pain at the front part of your shoulder which travels to the side of your arm. This pain should stop before it reaches your elbow. But if the mild pain does not go away it can be an indication of something much more serious.

It is in cases like this that you should meet with our Gilbert orthopedic surgeon and discuss your options. In some cases you will have to work with a licensed physical therapist to help strengthen and naturally improve the muscles around your shoulder.


OSPI accepts most insurance plans, and offers several Board Certified sports medicine doctors who are experts in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis and tears. Call 480-899-4333 for more information and scheduling today with orthopedic surgeons Gilbert and Chandler trust!

How to treat an ACL injury in Gilbert AZ

The ACL is one of four ligaments located in the knee responsible for providing stabilization to your joint. The most common injuries sustained to this area is a torn ACL.

What is a torn ACL?

When this ligament goes through the front part of your knee and it passes through the center of it, it provides stability for rotation movements. Especially during recreational activities like soccer that involve twisting. ACL tear ice on knee

A torn ACL can happen if there is a sudden change in direction for your knee. For example: if your knee has been locked into one position facing to the east, and you suddenly change and try to face toward the west, it can cause the ligament to become torn. It can also take place if you try to pick it when your knee is still in the locked position.

Most of the time such injuries are sustained while playing a sport or during physical activity. The ligament can become partially torn through regular sports and it can become fully torn when you keep your foot planted in your knee locked but then you try to twist and pivot your knee at the same time.

This is something that occurs regularly in gymnastics, soccer, football, and basketball. Take for example a soccer player who is running down the field chasing the ball, and then firmly plants a foot and knee in the locked position to receive a pass, but suddenly the other team intercepts the soccer ball and kicks it back down toward the opposite end of the field. If the athlete keeps the knee in the locked position and tries to pivot quickly, it can cause damage. This sudden change in the stress is what damages the ligament. But these injuries can also be sustained at lower speeds.

The most common symptom is a large popping sound followed by immediate pain in the knee and swelling. Typically it’s not subtle.

Women actually stand to sustain this type of damage more so compared to their male counterparts because of the different muscle function and anatomy. Women actually have a wider pelvis compared to men and this wider pelvis causes the femur to meet the tibia at a greater angle compared to men.

The meeting of the femur and tibia increases the force that the ACL ligament needs to withstand when the body is twisted. This measure alone increases the risk of damage to the ACL. The muscles in the female body are more elastic which means that they decreased the protection given to the hamstring and the ACL. Hormonal changes which happened with menstruation can cause even greater elasticity which increases the risk of a torn ACL even more.

After tearing an ACL, it is best to have it reconstructed. This way, the athlete can get back to the same level of sports activity as prior. While it doesn’t always occur, there would not be another way to reach elite activity levels. The Gilbert orthopedic surgeons at OSPI are top sports medicine doctors, Board Certified, and have successfully treated hundreds of ACL tears with reconstruction.

Call OSPI for the top sports medicine treatment in the East Valley and all of AZ today – 480-899-4333!