Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is the group of tendons in the shoulder which provide support and enable a wide range of motion. Major injury to these tendons can result in tearing of the tendons, which is commonly called rotator cuff tear. This is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in middle-aged and older adults. Tearing may occur with repeated use of the arm for overhead activities, while playing sports or during motor vehicle accidents. Rotator cuff tearing can cause severe pain, weakness of the arm and, sometimes, a crackling sensation in certain positions. There may be stiffness, swelling, loss of movement and tenderness.

Rotator cuff tear is best visualized on MRI. Symptomatic relief may be obtained with conservative treatments – rest, shoulder immobilization (sling), pain medications, steroid injections and exercise. However, surgery is oftentimes required. This surgical procedure can be performed through an arthroscope or with an open technique. Anchor sutures are utilized to attach the tendon to the bone.

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