Elbow & Shoulder

Rotator Cuff

Rotator cuff injury includes any type of irritation, damage/tears to the muscles and tendons. This can occur from trauma, degeneration, repetitive/overuse or simply age related.

About Rotator Cuff

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint (glenoid joint) and is the most mobile joint of the body. There are a group of 4 muscles, tendons and connective tissue that attached around the head of the humerous.  (These groups of muscles, tendons and connective tissues are called the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor). 

Diagnosis of a Rotator Cuff Repair is based on symptoms and a physical examination. X-rays, Ultrasounds and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI. These tests are normally used to help confirm diagnosis and treatment required.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injury usually include pain and tenderness in the shoulder, especially with overhead activities. Patients may experience weakness and decreased range of movement and motion. Often when a tear occurs with an acute injury, patients often feel a snapping sensation and immediate weakness of the arm. Gradual symptoms develop with repetitive overhead activity or long term wear. Pain in the front of the shoulder may radiate down the side of the arm.

Treatment Options

Risks & Concerns

The associated surgeries risks including but not limited to;

  • Infection
  • Scar
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  •  Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Need for further surgery
  • Failure to relieve symptoms
  • Worsening pain
  • Bleeding
  • Neurovascular deficit or injury
  • Risk of anaesthetic
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Re-tear

If you experience any problems or have any concerns following your surgery, please do not hesitate to contact the office. Mr. Lawson-Smith’s staff will ensure that Mr. Lawson-Smith is kept informed of what is occurring and will advise you the best course of action.

If you are unable to reach the office, please do not hesitate to contact your General Practitioner or if it is an emergency, please present to your nearest emergency department.

Make an appointment

Call 08 6332 6325 or contact us to book an appointment.
You’ll need a referral from your GP.


Mr Matthew Lawson-Smith

A fully qualified, internationally and  locally trained upper limb surgeon, specialising in hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder surgery. Mr. Lawson-Smith has a special interest in hand and wrist conditions, including trauma and Workers Compensation cases.

Perth orthopaedic surgeon Mr Matthew Lawson Smith, profile photo