Questions and Answers
Q: What are possible injuries to
the rotator cuff?
Rotator cuff injuries are typically either traumatic
or degenerative. Acute traumatic injuries may include
falls, throwing, automobile accidents, etc., and comprise
only 5-8% of all rotator cuff problems. Degenerative
rotator cuff problems comprise >90% of all cases.
Degenerative problems are common in the elderly population.
Above-the-head work, and repetitive heavy lifting
can lead to degeneration of the shoulder joint. Typical
progression of the degeneration includes tendinitis,
bursitis, impingement, and then ultimately a tear.
Of the four muscles that are part of the rotator cuff,
>90% of all degenerative injuries involve the suprasinatus
muscle tendon. Tears can range from minimal partial
tears to full-thickness or complete tears.
Return to questions