U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 19-year-old member asked:

how do you identify a rotator cuff injury?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nika Ferdowsi
Specializes in Family Medicine
Strength Testing: There are a series of tests a doctor can use to determine which, if any, of the rotator cuff's have been injured. In most of these tests, the physician will ask you to hold your arm out in various positions and ask you to hold it up against resistence. Pain, or inability to hold up the arm may be an indication of injury. Also, an MRI can help determine injury as well.
Dr. Daniel Mass
Hand Surgery 46 years experience
MRI or ultrasound: After an orthpaedic surgeon gets a good history of a shoulder injury and x-ray demonstrate no fractures or arthritis, a physical exam is performed. If there is lifting weakness and pain the exam can be repeated after an injection of numbing medicine. If still weak then a MRI or ultrasound of the shoulder should be obtained.
Dr. Robert Coats II
Orthopedic Surgery 23 years experience
Mostly by exam: Rotator cuff disease represents a continuum of symptoms and corresponding pathology. Most people present with pain with specific activities and this is the early course of disease. There is little damage to the rotator cuff and the inflammation is typically resolved with non-operative treatment. Night and/or rest pain represents a likely full thickness rotator cuff tear. Mri confirms diagnosis.
Dr. Shawn Hennigan
Orthopedic Surgery 27 years experience
Ultrasound: Mri is an excellent choice. An office based ultrasound by an experienced practitioner is also an excellent test for evaluating the rotator cuff. It is a fraction of the cost of mri, can usually be done during the patient's visit (obviating time and cost for return appointment to review study), and is a wonderful opportunity to educate patients.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with

Similar questions

A 25-year-old member asked:

Does acupuncture work on sports injuries?

8 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Possibly: Like any other treatment, some are effective and others may not be effective. Acupuncture is just another tool that can be used to treat injuries.
A 36-year-old member asked:

What is the most common radiation injury to the parts of the skin?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Amir Faridi
Specializes in Hematology and Oncology
Dermatitis: Redness, colour changes and skin burn can happen.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What types of injuries could cause incontinence?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Robert Stroud
General Practice 38 years experience
Surgical injuries : Surgical injury to the urinary sphincter.
A 34-year-old member asked:

How long after an injury could a bone be reset?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Family Medicine 43 years experience
Varies: After a week or so, the fracture gets sticky and is more difficult to set. If you are in doubt, make sure you see an orthopedist and get needed care before you have to make this decision. If there is drift and a re-set is necessary, i would think a couple of weeks out is getting to the limit. I defer to our orthopedic colleagues on health tap for a more expert answer.
A 40-year-old member asked:

What are the symptoms of a torn rotator cuff?

10 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Luanswered
Orthopedic Surgery 24 years experience
Weakness: Not all rotator cuff tears have the same symptoms. Some tears prevent the shoulder from being stable enough to raise the arm up, causing weakness. Other tears cause enough pain to prevent specific motions. Other rotator cuff tears have stabilized in a way that there are very few symptoms and the patient never even knows there is a tear. The diagnosis needs to be individualized with your surgeon.

Related questions

A 35-year-old male asked:
2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
A 30-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
A 40-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
A 31-year-old member asked:
4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
A 35-year-old member asked:
2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Talk to a doctor
$30 per visit with
Last updated Sep 15, 2020

People also asked

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
$30 per visit with


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.