How Should Someone Sleep With a Rotator Cuff Tear?

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Tendons are connective tissue that connects muscles to bones. When tendons become damaged or scarred due to overuse or injury, this can cause chronic pain that limits joint mobility and daily function. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Christopher Williams works with patients throughout Atlanta, GA to help alleviate acute and chronic tendon pain through innovative treatment approaches. One treatment is a minimally invasive, ultrasound-guided procedure called TENEX that is used to treat common tendon injuries, including rotator cuff tears.

What is a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear occurs when one or more of the muscles and tendons that make up the shoulder joint tear. Tears can be partial (frayed or partly damaged) or complete (full separation from the bone). Rotator cuff injuries are typically caused by overuse, falling on the shoulder joint, or injuring the shoulder in a sporting event. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Williams thoroughly assesses the nature of your rotator cuff tear injury to create a customized interventional approach.

Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear

Symptoms will vary in severity and can include any of the following:

  • Pain in the arm with movement or when lying on it
  • Difficulty with lifting the arm over your head
  • Weakness in the affected shoulder
  • Hearing clicking or popping noises in the shoulder joint with joint rotation
  • Difficulty with lifting objects with the affected arm

Common treatments for a rotator cuff tear

Men and women who incur rotator cuff injuries often participate in the following traditional interventions, depending on the severity of their injury:

  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Rest for the overused arm
  • Home therapeutic exercise programs
  • Steroid injections
  • Ice packs, cold packs, and other modalities
  • Massage
  • Surgery
  • Lifestyle modifications/adaptations

How should someone sleep with a rotator cuff tear?

To avoid extraneous pain at night, sleep on your back. For some people, it helps to alleviate pressure at the shoulder joint by propping the arm up on a pillow and/or the shoulder joint itself. Men and women who are not used to sleeping on their backs may have to sleep in a reclined position or with a wedge pillow for the first few weeks to prevent rolling.

What is TENEX?

TENEX, or percutaneous tenotomy, is a minimally invasive procedure that incorporates ultrasound-guided technology to remove damaged tissue that’s causing acute or chronic pain. Once the damaged tissue is removed, this provides space for the healthy soft tissue to heal and recover. TENEX can be used to treat numerous painful conditions caused by damaged tissue.

Who is an ideal candidate for TENEX?

Men and women are ideal candidates for TENEX if they:

  • Suffer from chronic tendon pain
  • Have a history of wear on tendons
  • Have had symptoms for over three months with no relief from traditional treatments

Dr. Williams will review your medical history and assess your current health status to determine if you can safely undergo TENEX treatments.

Can TENEX treat a rotator cuff tear?

TENEX has been used to treat rotator cuff tears and similar injuries, including:

  • Epicondylitis (tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow)
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tendinitis

How TENEX treatments are performed

TENEX treatments are performed in one of our private treatment rooms at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta. A small incision is made in the skin above the problematic tissue so that the ultrasonic device can be inserted and properly detect the damage. Ultrasonic frequency is emitted to break down and remove the damaged tissue while leaving the healthy tissue untouched. This helps the body to stimulate its own healing response and reduce pain and inflammation. Once your session is complete, you may return home the same day. Most patients resume normal daily activities within two weeks.

Learn more about TENEX treatments for a rotator cuff tear

If you reside in or near Atlanta, GA, and are living with rotator cuff tear pain that’s limiting your joint mobility and daily function, contact us at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta and schedule a consultation today. Dr. Christopher Williams will work with you and help ascertain if TENEX treatments are right for you.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.