The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder. The rotator cuff assists in raising the arm away from the body and overhead. It also maintains proper position of the shoulder joint and provides stability to the shoulder joint.
There is a spectrum of injuries to the rotator cuff ranging from inflammation and tendonitis to a complete tear to the tendon. There is also a spectrum of various causes of rotator cuff tears. Rotator cuff tears can occur in older patients without an injury. This can occur from degenerative changes to the rotator cuff tendon from years of overuse, such as with frequent reaching overhead or repetitive lifting. Rotator cuff tears can occur secondary to a fall onto your arm, elbow or shoulder.
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