Rotator Cuff vs. Bursitis?

Dr. Dimitrios Lambrou Apr 22, 2015

The term “rotator cuff” pain means different things to many people. The rotator cuff contains a group of tendons that surround the top of the arm bone called the humerus. These tendons can become partially or fully torn, both of which can lead to pain and weakness.

A separate cause of shoulder pain is “bursitis”. Above the tendons lie a sac also known as a “bursa”, which is typically not swollen and provides a cushion to protect the rotator tendons from the bones above them. When this sac or “bursa” becomes inflamed, we call it “bursitis”.

The rotator cuff tendons and bursa are two common culprits for shoulder pain, however there are others.

In office use of a specialized musculoskeletal ultrasound device is useful for rapidly diagnosing which condition a person has. Furthermore, utilizing ultrasound guidance, a needle can be visually guided to the target location to deliver a precise dose of pain relieving medications.