[Tendon ruptures of the shoulder]

Orthopade. 1989 Aug;18(4):257-66; discussion 266-7.
[Article in German]


Common sports, involving raising the arms above the head, i.e., throwing, racquet games and swimming, often result in rotator cuff tendinitis. During the throwing motion, the humeral head and its overlying biceps tendon and rotator cuff must pass rapidly under the coraco-acromial arch. Damage to these structures can occur by several mechanism. First, an increase in the size of the structures passing underneath the arch may lead to impingement. This can occur either by way of hypertrophy of the musculotendinous cuff or by way of inflammation of the cuff. Second, a decreased space available underneath the arch secondary to osteophyte formation of the acromion and fibrosis of the subacromial space may lead to impingement. Third, weakness or incompetence of the rotator cuff allows the humerus to ride up and impinge on the coracoacromial arch with motion of the shoulder. Tendinitis can be combined with increased laxity of the glenohumeral joint and/or acquired instability due to a labral tear. Prevention of overuse injuries is a cornerstone of our treatment concept. The muscle tendon unit requires passive and neuromuscular facilitated streching after warming-up exercises. Muscular imbalance and weakness are prevented by balanced eccentric strenthening with particular attention to the external rotators and scapular muscles. Knowledge of the mechanics of the pitching motion, tennis serve, swimming stroke, etc. is of paramount importance in the prevention of injuries. As the onset of shoulder problems contributes to a particularly fatiguing situation, extreme fatique performance severity should be avoided. Every effort must be made to apply conservative treatment when overuse problems arise in the athlete's shoulder.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / rehabilitation*
  • Rupture
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Tendinopathy / rehabilitation
  • Tendon Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*