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J Orthop Sci. 2013 Mar;18(2):197-204. doi: 10.1007/s00776-012-0345-2. Epub 2013 Jan 12.

Rotator cuff tear: physical examination and conservative treatment.

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1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan. itoi-eiji@med.tohoku.ac.jp

Abstract

Rotator cuff tear is one of the most common shoulder diseases. It is interesting that some rotator cuff tears are symptomatic, whereas others are asymptomatic. Pain is the most common symptom of patients with a tear. Even in patients with an asymptomatic tear, it may become symptomatic with an increase in tear size. Physical examination is extremely important to evaluate the presence, location, and extent of a tear. It also helps us to understand the mechanism of pain. Conservative treatment often works. Patients with well-preserved function of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus are the best candidates for conservative treatment. After a successful conservative treatment, the symptom once disappeared may come back again. This recurrence of symptoms is related to tear expansion. Those with high risk of tear expansion and those with less functional rotator cuff muscles are less likely to respond to conservative treatment. They may need a surgical treatment.

PMID:
23306597
PMCID:
PMC3607722
DOI:
10.1007/s00776-012-0345-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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