If rotator cuff tears are caught when they are small, athletes may be able to avoid surgery. However, if the shoulder doesn't receive proper care, tears can become larger and larger.

An athlete may have a rotator cuff tear if:

  • The shoulder hurts even during rest.
  • He or she cannot lift or lower their arm without pain.
  • He or she feels a crackling sensation when the shoulder moves.
  • He or she experiences weakness in the shoulder.

Athletes with one or more of these symptoms should see a doctor to discover the cause and prevent further injury.

CHKD sports medicine experts help prevent rotator cuff tears through group and individual injury prevention programs designed to help young athletes build strength and use proper technique. Sports medicine physical therapists help injuries heal with individualized rehabilitation programs that safely return the athlete to the game.

Because athletes are very active and cannot afford to lose strength in their shoulder, they often undergo surgery to repair rotator cuff tears. CHKD orthopedic surgeons offer minimally invasive rotator cuff repair, called arthroscopic repair. After this procedure, patients typically go home the same day and have a shorter recovery time than traditional open rotator cuff surgeries.

Find a CHKD orthopedic surgery and sports medicine expert to help your child or call (757) 668-7529 (PLAY) for more information.