Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is a series of four muscles that run from the scapula (shoulder blade) around the shoulder glenoid (socket) and attach to the humeral head (ball of the shoulder) by their tendons. The muscles of the rotator cuff work to keep the humeral head centered in the glenoid (socket) as the arm moves. Injury or degeneration (wear and tear) can result in a tear of the rotator cuff tendon. Rotator cuff tears affect the ability to keep the humeral head (ball of the shoulder) centered on the glenoid (socket), subsequently causing weakness and pain. Untreated rotator cuff tears retract, get larger, the muscle atrophies (turns into scar tissue and fat) with disuse, and can eventually become irreparable.


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