Recently, I had arthroscopic surgery to repair my rotator cuff. The doctor told me it was a âmassiveâ tear. What does this mean?
Doctors use different measures to define âmassiveâ tears in the rotator cuff. In one study, the torn tendon was 5 cm (1Â¼ inches) wide after the shredded edges were removed. Another study defined âmassiveâ as tears of two or more tendons. There are four tendons in the rotator cuff of the shoulder.
Not all tears of the same size are equal. Researchers believe that tears of the subscapularis tendons are worse than other tears. A torn subscapularis combined with another tendon in the rotator cuff often has a poor outcome.
William F. Bennett, MD. Arthroscopic Repair of Massive Rotator Cuff Tears: A Prospective Cohort With 2- to 4-Year Follow-up. In Arthroscopy. April 2003. Vol. 19. No. 4. Pp. 380-390.
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