Purpose: The purpose of this study was to document bilateral rotator cuff strength in patients with unilateral hand or wrist disorders.
Methods: Fifty-seven patients who had suffered a unilateral injury or disorder isolated to their hand or wrist, distal to the distal radius, had their bilateral rotator cuff strength measured.
Results: A statistically significant decrease in strength was found in the ipsilateral shoulder for both elevation in the plane of the scapula (supraspinatus) and for elevated external rotation (infraspinatus). Younger patients and the nondominant extremity were affected more adversely.
Conclusions: An increased prevalence of rotator cuff weakness is shown proximal to ipsilateral hand injuries or disorders.