Rotator Cuff Tears are similar to Rotator Cuff Tendinitis but are more problematic.
Rotator Cuff Tears occurs when the large tendons that elevate the arm rub against bony or ligamentous projections. Whether due to inflammation of the tendon or bursae due to overuse common in sports like tennis or baseball, or a traumatic tear of the rotator cuff tendons due to accident, this condition causes shoulder pain—commonly at the front and side where the shoulder meets the upper arm—as well as weakness and stiffness. The acromioclavicular joint may be a factor to be addressed if it, too, is unstable or arthritic.
While the treatment algorithm for the cuff tear is similar to Rotator Cuff Tendinitis, arthroscopic surgical repair is often required, not only to improve function, but to also limit the irreversible fatty degeneration of the cuff muscles that inevitably follows chronic rotator cuff tears.