Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist

Dr. Patrick McCulloch

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Houston, TX

Dr. Patrick McCulloch performs the most rotator cuff repairs at Houston Methodist Hospital, which US News & World Reports ranks as the No. 1 hospital in the entire southwest United States. Dr. McCulloch and his team see patients with rotator cuff tears at three Houston, Texas, locations including Spring Valley, Bellaire, and the Texas Medical Center. For advanced expertise in treating rotator cuff tears, call to schedule an appointment today.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that work together to stabilize your shoulder and provide a wide range of motion. This versatility leaves the rotator cuff prone to damage, including partial or complete tears. 

Rotator cuff tears can result from an acute injury, such as breaking a fall with an outstretched arm or lifting a heavy object with a jerking motion. Acute rotator cuff tears often occur with other shoulder injuries, such as a dislocation or broken collarbone (clavicle).

Degenerative rotator cuff tears are more common. This type develops gradually as a result of repetitive stress and is more common in older adults.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

Acute rotator cuff tears cause immediate, intense shoulder pain. You may also experience a snapping sensation followed by weakness in your upper arm.

Rotator cuff tears that develop slowly also cause shoulder pain and arm weakness. Pain may be mild at first and worsen over time. 

How is a rotator cuff tear diagnosed?

First, Dr. McCulloch or a member of his team reviews your symptoms and medical history. They examine your shoulder, checking for tenderness or deformity. They also check your arm strength and range of motion. 

Imaging tests, like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, can help them confirm the rotator cuff tear and create an individualized treatment plan. 

What treatments are available for a rotator cuff tear?

Dr. McCulloch and his team treat a high volume of rotator cuff tears. Most degenerative tears improve with nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. 

Rotator cuff repair surgery may be necessary if you continue to experience pain and symptoms after attempts at treatment or if the tear was due to a recent injury. Depending on the nature of the tear, rotator cuff repair surgery may involve reattaching or stitching the damaged tendon. 

Dr. McCulloch is the leading rotator cuff repair surgeon at the highly ranked Houston Methodist Hospital. He uses a minimally invasive, arthroscopic approach whenever possible.

If you think you have a rotator cuff tear, call the office of Dr. Patrick McCulloch to book an appointment today.