Knowing All About a Supraspinatus Rupture

Knowing All About a Supraspinatus Rupture, TPL Orthopedics and Sports MedicineThe supraspinatus muscle is located along the shoulder blade’s top part and inserts at the top of the humerus bone. It is among the four rotator cuff muscles in the body and is used for lifting the arm up sideways. It is also used significantly for participating in throwing sports because the muscle holds the arm in the shoulder joint when an athlete makes a throw.

After a throwing movement, a strong force is needed to slow down the arm. However, people rarely make an effort to train their supraspinatus muscles. Therefore, a heavy fall on the shoulder can lead to a muscle injury to the tendon.

Outstanding, perspicacious, and board-certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide treatments for supraspinatus fracture to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding communities in The Battle Born State.


A supraspinatus tear is characterized by a sharp shoulder pain during the time of injury. It is accompanied by pain in the arm when it is rotated upward and outward. A patient can also feel more pain and weakness when raising the arm sideways at a 60 degree arc.


An athlete who has sustained a supraspinatus injury should apply ice. Ice should not be applied directly on the skin, and should be wrapped in a wet towel to prevent ice burns. A patient can apply ice for 15 minutes every two hours for the first two days after the injury. The frequency for ice therapy can be gradually decreased over a few days. A patient should continue to rest until the pain subsides.

The orthopedic surgeon will usually recommend complete shoulder rest by immobilizing it in a sling, or something similar, for a partial rupture. A patient should consult a sports injury specialist who can advise the best way to go forward with treatment and rehabilitation.

In case of a complete rupture, it may be necessary to undergo a surgery. The surgeon may also recommend an invasive treatment if the conservative approach fails to contain the symptoms.

The success of the surgery will depend on the severity of the injury, the condition of the muscle and the extent of the tear. The surgery will be performed with the help of an arthroscope, which is a device with a miniature camera fixed to it.

The instrument is inserted in the shoulder through a small incision to observe the internal structures to examine the damage. Once the surgeon can identify the cause and extent of damage, they can repair it in a less invasive and more targeted way.

Research studies have shown that supraspinatus ruptures can heal in about 75 percent of the cases. It takes around six months for the patient to fully recover and resume their normal activities. The patient should diligently follow the surgeon’s instructions during both pre- and post-treatment phases in order to achieve safe and sustainable results.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and other suburbs and communities in this part of the country for the treatment of a full or partial suprasinatus rupture.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.

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