Questions and Answers
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
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