Torn Rotator Cuff Lesions Best Treated in First 4 Months But Single Tendon Tears Are Sneaky

Rotator cuff tendon repairs give good results even with fatty degeneration and muscle atrophy best under 4 months. Single tendon tears  – commonly supraspinatus, are sneaky – only 43% can relate any trauma to onset and 90° active abduction is possible in most. –

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1989;71:499-505.
Clinical presentation of complete tears of the rotator cuff
LA Norwood, R Barrack and KE Jacobson  free poor reproduction here

Divided cases into multiple tendon tears and single ones.

Multiple tendon tears are more classic – 80% give a history of trauma with weakness and limitation of abduction (side lifting)  is obvious.

Single tendon tears – only 43% can relate it to trauma and elevation arm to 90 ° or more is the rule. They will present with chronic shoulder pains only.There is more degenerative tears here.

The timing of rotator cuff repair for the restoration of function
Steve A. Petersen, MD*, Todd P. Murphy,
J Shoulder Elbow Surg (2010) in press, 1-7

Guaranteed good results if done under 4 months time even if preopertaive fat  atrophy or muscle atrophy.

Have a degenerative single tear and can raise you arm well? – probably not get diagnosed – so when discovered – probably far beyond the 4 month green zone. I send many of my cases for Ultrasound now for you can be surprised… Getting in to see an orthopedic surgeon and the awaiting surgery?- You almost would have to book surgery before the fact in order to get the 4 month rule…

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