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, 24 (2), 69-73

Partial-thickness Rotator Cuff Tears


Partial-thickness Rotator Cuff Tears

Keun Man Shin. Korean J Pain.


Although the incidence of partial-thickness rotator cuff tears (PTRCTs) was reported to be from 13% to 32% in cadaveric studies, the actual incidence is not yet known. The causes of PTRCTs can be explained by either extrinsic or intrinsic theories. Studies suggest that intrinsic degeneration within the rotator cuff is the principal factor in the pathogenesis of rotator cuff tears. Extrinsic causes include subacromial impingement, acute traumatic events, and repetitive microtrauma. However, acromially initiated rotator cuff pathology does not occur and extrinsic impingement does not cause pathology on the articular side of the tendon. An arthroscopic classification system has been developed based on the location and depth of the tear. These include the articular, bursal, and intratendinous areas. Both ultrasound and magnetic resonance image are reported with a high accuracy of 87%. Conservative treatment, such as subacromial or intra-articular injections and suprascapular nerve block with or without block of the articular branches of the circumflex nerve, should be considered prior to operative treatment for PTRCTs.

Keywords: injections; intrinsic; nerve block; rotator cuff.

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