Partial rotator cuff tears are a very common finding on a routine shoulder MRI.  Most of you with shoulder pain do not recall a severe injury.  The majority of people with rotator cuff pain have pain in the upper arm. That pain can be particularly severe at night.

Most of you have arrived here because you had a shoulder MRI and it revealed a partial thickness or partial rotator cuff tear. Virtually no one over 40 has a “normal” shoulder MRI.  Most partial rotator cuff tears are simply due to age or activity related degeneration— think of your favorite pair of blue jeans.

The treatment of partial rotator cuff tears is usually non-operative.  If medications, injections and physical therapy do not resolve your pain then surgery might be suggested.  Recent developments have led to the use of a patch to help repair these partial tears.  See this post for more information.  

In this video we discuss partial rotator cuff tears, why they occur and what treatment might be appropriate for you.  For those who prefer to read more see this post.