A common workplace injury is a rotator cuff injury. Sometimes this injury is the result of specific trauma or incident; such as a fall, lifting something heavy, or a car accident, and sometimes it is the result of repetitive movements, often overhead movements. A rotator cuff injury is typically a tear in the tendons in that area of the shoulder. Tears that can be of varying degrees from 10% or less of the tendon all the way to a full tear.
For shoulder injuries that are diagnosed or caught early when the tear is small, sometime surgery can be avoided, however, I typically see my clients with these injuries as basically a ticking time bomb, as the shoulder is used more the tear progressively gets worse and worse and eventually requires surgery.
New medical treatment is focusing on trying to stop a small tendon tear or injury from progressing into a shoulder injury that requires surgery. A new injection therapy is aimed at helping the body prevent the tear form becoming worse with continued use, hopefully preventing future surgery.
"When the tendon is damaged, the body makes things worse by activating enzymes that further break down the tendon. The scientists hope to develop an injectable compound that would deliver an inhibitor capable of blocking these enzymes, thereby reducing the severity of the injury or even healing the tissue." See Scientists Work to Engineer Injectable Therapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries
Hopefully this new research will create a new option for personal injury clients with rotator cuff injuries, rather than watching the inevitable decline of the shoulder rotator cuff over months or a few years, my clients may have a new option to help prevent that ongoing tearing that leads to surgery.
Rotator Cuff Surgery Recovery:
One of the reasons for looking for alternatives to shoulder surgery is that this surgery is painful, difficult to recover from, and patients generally do not fully recover. Leading to a permanent partial disability to the shoulder. Studies have shown that patients may never recover from their shoulder injury:
"We found that the motion pattern of the repaired shoulder is significantly different than the patient's opposite shoulder[...] our study suggests that surgery doesn't necessarily restore normal shoulder strength or normal shoulder motion[.]" See Shoulder Function Not Fully Restored After Rotator Cuff Surgery, Follow-Up Study Finds