Rotator Cuff Disorders
When To Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if shoulder pain or weakness occurs with chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, or nausea.
Call your doctor immediately if you have an injury to your shoulder and:
- Your shoulder is very painful.
- Your shoulder appears to be deformed.
- You cannot move your shoulder normally.
- You have signs of damage to the nerves or blood vessels, such as numbness; tingling; a "pins-and-needles" sensation below the injury; or pale, cold, or bluish skin.
Call your doctor if:
- You have had a shoulder problem in the past and you have shoulder pain.
- Your shoulder pain or stiffness is getting worse.
- Home treatment is not helping.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. A watchful waiting period may vary from a few days to weeks or possibly months. Watchful waiting is not appropriate if:
- Pain in your shoulder is unbearable.
- Your shoulder is deformed.
- You have loss of feeling in the shoulder.
- The skin around your shoulder is pale, cold, or bluish.
Who to see
Health professionals who can diagnose and manage rotator cuff disorders include:
- Primary care health professionals who are familiar with shoulder injuries. These include:
- Reference Orthopedic surgeons Opens New Window.
- Reference Emergency medicine specialists Opens New Window (for severe symptoms or injury).
For treatment, you may be referred to a specialist, such as:
- A Reference sports medicine specialist Opens New Window.
- An orthopedic surgeon.
- A physical medicine specialist (Reference physiatrist Opens New Window).
- A Reference rheumatologist Opens New Window.
- A Reference physical therapist Opens New Window.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference Timothy Bhattacharyya, MD