Franklin, NC Geriatrics and Sports Rehab Franklin, NC Geriatrics and Sports Rehab Franklin, NC Geriatrics and Sports Rehab

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Q: My husband, a 52 year old male, had an MRI done. It has come back as saying "he a complete full thickness tear of the suprasinatus and subscapularis tendon and medial dislocation of the long head of the bicepts tendon. Can you please explain to me what exactly this means and how serious is it? They also say that he has to have surgery. How long does this usually take to heal?

The "rotator cuff" is a group of four muscles vital for function of the shoulder joint. The superspinatus and subscapularis muscles are two of the four muscles. A tear can be caused primarily from trauma (falling on the shoulder, etc.) or can be degenerative (wear and tear). Medial dislocation of the long biceps tendon is common in degenerative rotator cuff tears with disruption of the subscapularis tendon. Full thickness means complete tear through the entire tendon.
Considering the age of your husband, sugery is typical to reduce pain and preserve function. However, surgery is not required, especially in the very elderly, but long term pain and functional limitations can result from not having the procedure done. Rehabilitation is vital after surgery. Typically rehabilitation will start 3-5 days after surgery and last for about 10-12 weeks.

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