Treatment Strategy for Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears

Clin Orthop Surg. 2018 Jun;10(2):119-134. doi: 10.4055/cios.2018.10.2.119. Epub 2018 May 18.


Recently, patients with shoulder pain have increased rapidly. Of all shoulder disorders, rotator cuff tears (RCTs) are most prevalent in the middle-aged and older adults, which is the primary reason for shoulder surgery in the population. Some authors have reported that up to 30% of total RCTs can be classified as irreparable due to the massive tear size and severe muscle atrophy. In this review article, we provide an overview of treatment methods for irreparable massive RCTs and discuss proper surgical strategies for RCTs that require operative management.

Keywords: Irreparable rotator cuff tear; Massive rotator cuff tear; Rotator cuff tear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Conservative Treatment
  • Debridement
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Rotator Cuff / physiopathology
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / physiopathology
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome