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Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2014 Feb 24;3(4):351-4. eCollection 2013.

Fatty infiltration of the shoulder: diagnosis and reversibility.

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  • 1Unit of Arthroscopic and Sports Medicine, Hesperia Hospital, Modena, Italy.
  • 2Unit of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University of Ferrara, Italy.
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery Hospital Antonio Cardarelli, Campobasso, Italy.


Fatty degeneration is a degenerative condition of the tendon-muscle unit of rotator cuff muscles, characterized by atrophy of muscle fibers, fibrosis, and fatty accumulation within and around the muscles. Many classification may be useful to stage this pathology, especially on Computed Tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (Mari) findings. Stem cell-based therapies for repair and regeneration of tendons and muscles may be used to promote healing and to make this condition reversible. Diagnosis and management of this condition is mandatory as in patients undergoing rotator cuff repair, it may influence outcomes, increase the likelihood of re-tearing, and evolve negatively.


diagnosis; fatty degeneration; management; outcomes

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