What is Rotator Cuff Tendonitis?
Rotator cuff tendonitis is inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder. The most common rotator cuff tendon to be inflamed is the supraspinatus tendon. This tendon is positioned on top of the shoulder between two bones: the acromion (which is a part of the shoulder blade or scapula) is above it and the humeral head (top of the arm bone) is below it. Athletes who participate in overhead activities, particularly swimmers, pitchers, and tennis players are more susceptible to developing rotator cuff tendonitis.
The rotator cuff is responsible for the movement of the shoulder along with the deltoid muscle. The rotator cuff is susceptible to wear and tear over time. Rotator cuff tendonitis is a condition in which the tendons become irritated and inflamed. This condition is also called subacromial impingement syndrome.
Chronic inflammation of a tendon leads to wear and tear and later degenerative changes in the microstructure of the tendon. This weakens the tendon over time, causing it to fray and ultimately tear. Dr. Cunningham is a shoulder specialist at Vail Summit Orthopedics and Nuerosurgery. He is an expert at diagnosing and treating shoulder tendonitis for patients in Vail, Summit County, Aspen, and Denver, CO.