Clinical diagnosis of tears of the rotator cuff

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1992 May;74(3):414-5. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.74B3.1587891.


We have studied the reported clinical assessment of the presence and extent of a rotator cuff tear in 42 patients presenting to a special shoulder clinic. This pre-operative diagnosis was compared with the findings at operation. The clinical tests had a sensitivity of 91% and a specificity of 75%. It is important to exploit clinical examination before resorting to costly and sometimes harmful special investigations.

MeSH terms

  • Arthrography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Palpation
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Rupture
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography