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Torn rotator cuff

Location of rotator cuff in shoulder, with detail of complete tear of rotator cuff tendon

The rotator cuff is the group of tendons and related muscles that help keep the upper arm bone seated in the socket of the shoulder blade. A torn rotator cuff tendon can cause pain, weakness, and limited range of motion in the shoulder.

A rotator cuff tear may be:

  • Partial, in which only part of the fibers of the tendon are torn.
  • Complete or full thickness, in which the tendon is torn all the way through.

Current as of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma

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