The rotator cuff is the group of tendons and muscles that connect the shoulder and the upper arm. It is responsible for stabilising the shoulder and allowing it to rotate. Sometimes, however, the rotator cuff becomes damaged or irritated. Some examples of rotator cuff disorders are tendinitis or inflamed tendons, bursitis, and partial or complete tears in the tendons. These are caused either by overuse or normal wear and tear.
Depending on the suspected cause of the disorder, patients will need specialist medical treatment under the supervision of an orthopaedic surgeon, a rheumatologist, or a sports medicine specialist. If finding highly skilled and fully capable medical specialists is a problem, patients can turn to medical tourism, as most reputable doctors converge in known medical tourism hubs such as the US, UK, and Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia’s medical tourism industry is currently leading the race though, particularly due to the low-cost yet high-quality specialist care offered in the region. Many patients from all parts of the globe now head to the region for minor treatments to major surgeries, while saving up to 70% of their treatment costs when compared to going to the US or UK.
For the management of disorders of the rotator cuff, the region has the most advanced diagnostic equipment, including MRI scans and arthrogram. In an arthrogram, a contrast dye material is injected into the shoulder; the material then shows up on an x-ray and allows doctors to visualise the tendons and check for signs of disease. For patients with severe rotator cuff problems such as partial or complete tears, Southeast Asia’s top internationally trained surgeons can also surgically repair the rotator cuff. Also, since rotator cuff disorders affect only the arm and shoulder, treatment is usually considered as minor procedures. Thus, patients can combine their treatment with some holiday sightseeing, which can greatly hasten the recovery process.