Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I suspect that I may have a torn rotator cuff. I dislocated my shoulder several years ago and I still have pain sometimes, especially if I'm trying to reach up for things. What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?


Pain in your shoulder can be a few different things, including a torn rotator cuff. Only your doctor can tell you for sure if you do have tears in the tendons.

Signs and symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include:

Pain, particularly when you try to do every day activities such as putting your jacket or sweater on or reaching up

Aching or discomfort if you try to lie on the affected side to sleep

Difficulty reaching behind your back

Not being able to move your arm the full range that your shoulder should normally allow P.O.Zingg, MD, et al. Clinical and Structural Outcomes of Nonoperative Management of Massive Rotator Cuff Tears. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2007. Vol. 89-A. No. 9. Pp. 1927-1934.

*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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