Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff Specialist
Rotator cuff injuries and disorders are more than just a hassle -- they can be painful conditions that limit your ability to tackle even the most minor tasks. Dr. William Burns of Craig Ranch Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Frisco, Texas, specializes in shoulders and has an arsenal of tools at his disposal to treat and prevent future injury to your shoulders, allowing you to use your arms freely and without limitations or pain.

Rotator Cuff Q&A

by Dr. William C. Burns II

What is the rotator cuff?

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint connecting the upper arm to the shoulder blade. The rotator cuff is where four muscles come together to form a tendon that covers the head of the upper arm in the socket and attaches the upper arm to the shoulder blade, keeping the arm in the socket, while allowing it to lift and rotate.

Another player in the shoulder set-up is a lubricating sac called a bursa, which lies between the rotator cuff and the acromion (the small bone on top of the shoulder at the end of the clavicle), and allows the tendons to move freely providing range of motion to the arm.

What are the different types of rotator cuff disorders?

Rotator cuff disorders and injuries typically include the following:

  • Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendons
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa
  • Impingement: Tendons that rub up against the bone
  • Calcific tendonitis: Calcium buildup in the rotator cuff
  • Rotator cuff tears: Partial or complete tears in the tendon


These disorders are largely brought on by normal wear and tear, overuse, aging, and injury.

If you feel pain or weakness in your shoulder, make an appointment with Dr. Burns to determine the root cause and get started on treatment before the disorder progresses.

What is the treatment for rotator cuff disorders?

There are many ways to treat rotator cuff disorders and treatment depends largely on your age and the severity of your problem.

After a valuation, Dr. Burns can determine the best route for your rotator cuff issue, which may include:

  • Resting the shoulder
  • Modifying activities
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Icing and heating
  • Physical therapy/strengthening exercises
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery


Dr. Burns specializes in both sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, which provides him with a span of options to choose from based on your unique situation.

Can rotator cuff injuries be prevented?

Many rotator cuff disorders are a result of normal wear and tear and are degenerative in nature. While we can’t stop the forward march of time, we can help the shoulder joints last longer, remain flexible, and guard against injury, with the following guiding principles:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Mobility and flexibility exercises
  • Minimize lifting
  • Avoid holding your arms out or overhead for long periods (think painting)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications


Dr. Burns is happy to recommend a host of options that keep your shoulders functioning at an optimal level.

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