Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I'm really scared because I think I retore my rotator cuff again. The surgery was six months ago, and I thought it was pretty stable. But I was out on the baseball field and overextended when throwing the ball to first base from the outfield. How can I find out if I've damaged the repair?

Answer:

The best way to know for sure what's going on is to see your orthopedic surgeon. He or she can examine you and perform clinical tests to check the integrity of the rotator cuff tendons. It may be necessary to have a MRI scan with dye injected into the shoulder joint. A retear is diagnosed if the MRI signal shows fluid has passed through the tendon where it is torn. Diagnostic arthroscopy is the other reliable way to know for sure if the rotator cuff has torn again. This is a surgical procedure and requires anesthetic but the tear can be revised or repaired again at the same time. This saves you the expense of an extra step in between diagnosis and treatment. Surgery may not be needed at all. If it's a mild injury, you may be able to rehab the shoulder. After taking a history and examining you, your surgeon will be able to advise you more specifically. Dennis Liem, MD, et al. Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair in Overhead-throwing Athletes. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. July 2008. Vol. 36. No. 7. Pp. 1317-1322.

*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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