Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Rotator Cuff Sprain Evaluation

The evaluation of a rotator cuff tear begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings of a rotator cuff tear may include:

  • Pain when you lift your arm
  • Pain when you lower your arm from a fully raised position
  • Shoulder weakness when lifting or rotating the arm
  • A crackling sensation in the shoulder joint during movement
  • Shoulder tenderness
  • Atrophy of muscles in the shoulder:
    • Decrease size of the muscles around the shoulder
  • Inability to move the shoulder

Usually, tests are necessary to make the diagnosis of rotator cuff tear.

Tests that may be used to evaluate a rotator cuff tear include:

Continue to Rotator Cuff Sprain Treatment

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Rotator Cuff Sprain References
  1. Baker CL, Whaley AL, Baker M. Arthroscopic rotator cuff tear repair. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2003 Winter;12(4):175-90. [15008280]
  2. Charousset C, Bellaiche L, Duranthon LD, Grimberg J. Accuracy of CT arthrography in the assessment of tears of the rotator cuff. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2005 Jun;87(6):824-8. [15911667]
  3. Kim SH, Ha KI, Park JH, Kang JS, Oh SK, Oh I. Arthroscopic versus mini-open salvage repair of the rotator cuff tear: outcome analysis at 2 to 6 years' follow-up. Arthroscopy. 2003 Sep;19(7):746-54. [12966383]
  4. Laudicina L, D'Ambrosia R. Management of irreparable rotator cuff tears and glenohumeral arthritis. Orthopedics. 2005 Apr;28(4):382-8. [15887585]
  5. McCabe RA, Nicholas SJ, Montgomery KD, Finneran JJ, McHugh MP. The effect of rotator cuff tear size on shoulder strength and range of motion. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005 Mar;35(3):130-5. [15839306]
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