Rotator cuff tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff. It may involve any of the four tendons, but most commonly involves the supraspinatus and infraspinatus. This is caused by repetitive actions of the shoulder, especially overhead activities and so is commonly found in people who are involved in such activities like the volleyball players, basketball players, football players, or in people who are in such profession like painters.
These patients usually present with pain in the shoulder joint, which is worsened with overhead activities. They may also complained of nighttime pain and discomfort. The diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis is usually made by a history and physical examination. An MRI may be needed to rule out rotator cuff tear in such patients.
The treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis is essentially nonsurgical.
It involves medication, physical therapy, and if needed, cortisone injection. These patients recover very well from the inflammation and are back to their normal life in about three to six weeks. Occasionally, in patients of rotator cuff tendonitis, surgery may be needed especially in those who have a bone spur or the acromial osteophyte, which is digging onto the rotator cuff tendons and causing the inflammation.