Torn rotator cuff

Location of rotator cuff in shoulder, with detail of complete tear of rotator cuff tendon

The rotator cuff is the group of tendons and related muscles that help keep the upper arm bone seated in the socket of the shoulder blade. A torn rotator cuff tendon can cause pain, weakness, and limited range of motion in the shoulder.

A rotator cuff tear may be:

  • Partial, in which only part of the fibres of the tendon are torn.
  • Complete or full thickness, in which the tendon is torn all the way through.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma

Current as ofNovember 29, 2017

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

Thanks to our partners and endorsers: