Rotator Cuff Tear Specialist

Michael Trice, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Complete Orthopaedics

Michael Trice, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Cartilage Repair and Total Joint Specialist located in Houston, TX

Rotator cuff tears cause nearly 2 million people to visit the doctor every year with complaints of shoulder pain. Orthopedic surgeon Michael Trice, MD, provides nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for rotator cuff tears at Complete Orthopaedics in Houston, Texas. If you think you may have torn your rotator cuff, call or book an appointment online today.

Rotator Cuff Tear Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

The rotator cuff provides your shoulder with a wide range of motion that helps you perform a variety of activities, from getting dressed in the morning to swinging a tennis racket. 

Four tendons make up your rotator cuff. A tear in one of these tendons causes shoulder pain and arm weakness that can interfere with your normal routine.  


How do rotator cuff tears occur?

You can tear your rotator cuff suddenly, like while playing sports or after a fall on an outstretched arm. Tears that happen suddenly usually cause intense pain immediately after the injury. You should call Dr. Trice right away if you have shoulder pain that follows an injury. 

More often, rotator cuff tears develop slowly as a result of degenerative damage. Over time, the tendons of your rotator cuff wear down and leave you more susceptible to a tear. 

You may be at higher risk of a rotator cuff tear if you have a job or hobby that requires repetitive overhead arm motions, like painting or playing tennis.


What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

Common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include shoulder pain and arm weakness. The pain may keep you up at night, especially if you lie on the affected shoulder. Certain movements may make the pain worse, such as lifting your arm or reaching behind your back. 


How are rotator cuff tears diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Trice reviews your symptoms and medical history. He examines your shoulder, checking for areas of tenderness and restricted range of motion. He may also administer tests like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. 

After he confirms that you have a rotator cuff tear, Dr. Trice discusses the best treatment for your specific needs. Mild tears usually resolve with nonsurgical treatments, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Therapeutic injections


If you have a large rotator cuff tear, or if you continue to experience pain and symptoms despite treatment, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Trice uses minimally invasive arthroscopy to repair rotator cuff tears. 

For compassionate and comprehensive care of rotator cuff tears and other shoulder injuries, call Complete Orthopaedics, or book an appointment online today.