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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Rotator Cuff Injuries

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Rotator Cuff Injury
Question: About three months ago I hurt my rotator cuff in a skiing accident. I have gone to therapy about ten times, and just two weeks ago went to a specialist who gave me a cortisone injection. I have heard many bad things about cortisone injections. Instead of getting another shot of cortisone in one month, as the Doctor recommends, would I be better off having an MRI and investigating a permanent solution? The Cortisone injection helped, but I still can tell that the underlying problem is still there.

Answer: Cortisone is only a problem if given repeatedly or in big doses. The real question is whether there as a tear in the rotator cuff muscles or ligaments that will require surgery. An MRI is not going to help unless it shows a major tear, which is unlikely. Try the second shot to avoid surgery. A shoulder is never improved with surgery and you will be better off postponing surgery if possible. Do not rush to surgical repair unless no other option improves your shoulder.
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