Weather anchor Al Roker was notably absent this morning on the Today show. That’s because he’s had surgery on his shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff.
As Al tweeted:
According to fellow anchor Matt Lauer, the surgery went well and Al was doing fine this morning.
As you know, Roker underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2002, and has subsequently loss over 130 pounds. He has also become an avid exercise fan. As he discussed on Dateline, his new diet and exercise regimen includes:
The shoulder joint is made up of bones held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons are tough cords of tissue that hold the shoulder muscles to bones. They help the muscles move the shoulder. Ligaments hold the three shoulder bones to each other and help make the shoulder joint stable.
The four muscles of the rotator cuff include:
Rotator cuff tendons can become inflamed from frequent use or aging. Sometimes they are injured from a fall on an outstretched hand. Sports or jobs with repeated overhead motion can also damage the rotator cuff. Aging causes tendons to wear down, which can lead to a tear. Some tears are not painful, but others can be very painful.
Although a rotator cuff tear can be asymptomatic, the most common symptoms include shoulder pain and weakness. The severity of the tear doesn’t necessarily correlate with the severity of the symptoms experienced. A completely torn cuff may result in little or no pain, and a partial tear may be quite painful.
The ultimate goals of rotator cuff tear treatment include:
For most, conservative treatment is adequate. This includes:
Surgery is usually reserved for moderate to large tears or tears that do not respond to conservative treatment.