Rotator cuff injuries are a common cause of shoulder pain in people of all age groups. They represent a spectrum of disease, ranging from acute reversible tendonitis to massive tears involving the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and subscapularis. Diagnosis is usually made through detailed history, physical examination, and often, imaging studies.
Often, younger individuals with rotator cuff injuries relate a history of repetitive overhead activities involving the rotator cuff or, less commonly, a history of trauma preceding clinical onset of symptoms. In contrast, older individuals usually present with a gradual onset of shoulder pain and, ultimately, after radiographic testing are shown to have significant partial or full rotator cuff tears without a clear history of predisposing trauma. Nonoperative or conservative treatment is usually sufficient to heal the problem in the vast majority of individuals, with a few exceptions that are discussed.
Synonyms and related keywords:
rotator cuff tear, rotator cuff tendonitis, supraspinatus tendonitis, subacromial tendonitis, impingement syndrome, shoulder injury, shoulder pain, loss of shoulder motion, supraspinatus atrophy, infraspinatus atrophy, entrapments of suprascapular nerve, scapular winging, scapulohumeral rhythm, adhesive capsulitis, dropping of the arm, scapula rotators, drop-arm test, Neer impingement test, Hawkins-Kennedy impingement test, apprehension test, relocation test, intrinsic tendinopathy, curved acromions, hooked acromions, rotator cuff tendinopathy
Malanga et al 2006