Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I've always been active in sports. I've injured myself now and then but I always bounced back. Last year I dislocated my shoulder for the first time. This year I dislocated it again and tore the rotator cuff. Why is this happening all of a sudden? I've never had a broken bone or torn muscle in my life.

Answer:

You didn't mention your age and we hate to bring it up but it's a fact that shoulder dislocation with rotator cuff tears (RCTs) occur more often in people over 40 years of age. Active older adults are at greater risk for these types of injuries because of the changes in collagen tissue as we age.

In your case the shoulder dislocation happened first (and second) before the rotator cuff tear. In many patients it's not clear if the rotator cuff tear caused the shoulder to dislocate or the other way around. Studies do show that repeated dislocations are a risk factor for RCTs.

Surgery to repair the damage is advised to avoid chronic shoulder instability.

Giuseppe Porcellini, M.D., et al. Shoulder Instability and Related Rotator Cuff Tears: Arthroscopic Findings and Treatment in Patients Aged 40 to 60 Years. In The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery. March 2006. Vol. 22. No. 3. Pp. 270-276.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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