Rotator Cuff Tear

What is your Rotator Cuff?

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles around your shoulder joint. These muscles help you move your shoulder in all directions, especially when lifting your hand above your head and rotating your shoulder. They also have the important function of keeping your shoulder joint in place. Without them, the ball of your shoulder joint, would not sit or function properly in the socket of your shoulder joint.

4 muscles make up your rotator cuff

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Subscapularis
  • Teres Minor

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

Xray of both hips. The right hip has a Total Hip Replacement and the left hip is normal.
Diagram of the right shoulder
There is a complete full thickness tear of the supraspinatus muscle

A rotator cuff tear is a tear of the tendons on the rotator cuff, near to where the tendons attach to the top of your humerus (upper arm bone). The most common tendon affected is the supraspinatus tendon.

Rotator cuff tears can occur with a fall or some other trauma. However, most Rotator Cuff Tears, occur with repetive arm activities or as a 'Wear and Tear' process with aging. The older you get, the more common it becomes.

Young people can also get rotator cuff tears from falls, trauma and sporting injuries. However, this is much less common.

People who are particularly prone to having rotator cuff problems are those who use their arms in repetitive movements above their shoulder and head. For example, painters, tennis players, weight lifters.

Rotator Cuff Tears

2 January, 2014