Every year approximately 18 million Americans report shoulder pain, a large percentage of which are a result of rotator cuff disease. Rotator cuff tear progression can be difficult to predict. Factors associated with tear enlargement include increasing symptoms, advanced age, involvement of 2 or more tendons, and rotator cable lesion. Nonsurgical treatment can be effective for patients with full-thickness tears. When conservative treatment fails, surgical repair provides a reliable treatment alternative. Recurrent tears after surgery can compromise outcomes, particularly for younger patients with physically demanding occupations. Revision surgery provides satisfactory results for those with symptomatic re-tears. If the tear is deemed irreparable, addressing concomitant biceps pathology or performing partial repairs can reliably improve pain and potentially reverse pseudoparalysis. The reverse shoulder arthroplasty has limited indications in the setting of rotator cuff tears and should be reserved for patients with painful pseudoparalysis and associated arthropathy.
Management of rotator cuff tears J Hand Surg Am. 2015 February