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Rotator Cuff (RTC) Tear

    Rotator Cuff (RTC) Tear

    Tears of the rotator cuff of the shoulder are one of the most common causes of shoulder pain and weakness. The shoulder ball joint articulates with a small saucer like “socket” making the joint very mobile but potentially unstable. The rotator cuff is a 270 degree cuff of muscle and tendon that surrounds the ball of the shoulder, providing stable and powerful rotation against the saucer. There are four different muscles that give power to the tendons. The most commonly torn tendon is the supraspinatus, but larger tears can incorporate all four tendons. Rotator cuff tears become more prevalent in the general population with age, so the decision to treat a rotator cuff tear with conservative measures or surgery depends on the patient age, activity level, and ability to comply with restrictions and perform physical therapy for an extended time after surgery to optimize healing and improve range of motion and strength after operative repair. Often the tendon tear from the bone can be fixed arthroscopically.