The 5 Most Common Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear may result from an acute injury such as a fall, or may be caused by chronic wear and tear with degeneration of the tendon. The most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear are listed below.

  1. Pain at rest and at night, particularly if lying on the affected shoulder
  2. Pain when lifting and lowering your arm above your chest, or with specific movements
  3. Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
  4. Crepitus or crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions
  5. May be difficult to comb your hair or reach behind your back

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, contact our office  to schedule an evaluation. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Westphal has the expertise to quickly diagnose and treat your symptoms.

“Prehabilitation” for Total Joint Replacements

WGAL News 8 recently did a story on the emerging trend of “prehabilitation” in orthopedics. Watch as Dr. Westphal and Hayden McDevitt of Hartz Physical Therapy discuss the advantages of preparing your joints for surgery.


5 Things You Should Know About Knee Osteoarthritis

1. Osteoarthritis is the result of deteriorating cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that acts as a lubricant between your joints. Healthy cartilage in the knee will allow the bones to glide over each other. When the cartilage becomes damaged as a result of osteoarthritis, the bones will rub together causing pain, decreased range of motion, swelling, and discomfort.


2. Symptoms develop gradually over time. Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear on the knee that can be caused by sports, work and other activities of daily living. Early symptoms are commonly described as pain and tenderness that will eventually be accompanied by stiffness. These symptoms gradually get worse over time and can begin to really affect activities such as climbing stairs or getting up and down from a chair.


3. Osteoarthritis can be prevented. Weight control and exercise are two of the best ways to prevent osteoarthritis in the knee. Data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that women who are overweight were 4 times more likely to develop osteoarthritis and overweight men were 5 times more likely. Being overweight can rapidly speed up degeneration of cartilage particularly in weight-bearing joints such as the knee. Exercise can help prevent premature cartilage wear by strengthening the muscles around the joint and reducing strain on the knee. 


4. More than 20 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis. This number is expected to increase rapidly over the next 5 years according to the Center for Disease Control. Arthritis is also the number one cause of disability in America.


5. There is hope! At Westphal Orthopedics we have developed the Joint Center which is focused on relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Dr. Westphal has over 25 years of experience in orthopedic surgery and has successfully replaced more than 2,000 joints for his patients. Treatments include physical therapy, activity modification, joint supplements, injections and many more. At the Joint Center, we will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan to get you back to your active lifestyle. Call us today to schedule your new patient consultation!