Rotator Cuff Tears and Repair

 by Mr Ben Gooding

Rotator Cuff Tear, What Is The Problem?

Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body and is therefore dependent on strong muscles to move and stabilise it. The most important muscles for this purpose are your rotator cuff muscles. These muscles originate from your shoulder blade and their tendons form a hood covering the ball of your shoulder joint.

 

 

 

 

(This is an MRI scan of the shoulder looking from the front of the ball and socket joint. The arrows show a tear or gap in the tendon.)

Your tendons can get damaged in two ways, either by an accident or by weakening and ‘wearing out’ over time. As you get older, your muscles and tendons can get thinner and bony spurs can develop underneath the arch of bone above your shoulder joint (the acromion). When you move your arm into certain positions, such as reaching up or behind the back, these spurs can press on your tendons, or your torn tendon may be stretched, making them feel painful.