The rotator cuff (RC) is comprised of four muscle-tendon units, which stabilize the humeral head within the shoulder joint and aid in powering the movement of the upper extremity. RC tears refer to a partial or full discontinuation of one or more of the muscles or tendons and may occur as a result of traumatic injury or degeneration over a period of years. The incidence of RC tears is related to increasing age; 54 percent of patients over the age of 60 years have a partial or complete RC tear compared with only 4 percent of adults under 40 years of age. Although not a life threatening condition, RC tears may cause significant pain, weakness, and limitation of motion. Both non-operative and operative treatments are used in an attempt to relieve pain and restore movement and function of the shoulder.
Additional information can be found in Health and Wellness Resource Center- Rotator Cuff Injuries