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J Fam Pract. 2006 Jul;55(7):621-4.

Clinical inquiries. What is the best way to diagnose a suspected rotator cuff tear?

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1
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Abstract

The evaluation of a suspected rotator cuff tear should start with a history and a clinical exam of the shoulder (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, based on a systematic review of cohort studies). Three clinical test results in particular--supraspinatus weakness, weakness of external rotation, and impingement--or 2 positive tests for a patient older than 60 years were highly predictive of rotator cuff tear (SOR: B, based on individual prospective study). Either magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound can confirm a possible full-thickness tear (SOR: B, based on a systematic review of cohort studies). If a patient has an implantable device prohibiting MRI imaging, conventional arthrography is an alternative (SOR: A, individual randomized controlled trial). Suspected partial-thickness tears are best verified with an ultrasound (SOR: B, based on a systematic review of cohort studies).

PMID:
16822450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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