8 doctors weighed in:
How can I tell if I have a sprained rotator cuff or a torn one?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. Shawn Hennigan
Orthopedic Surgery
3 doctors agree
In brief: Ultrasound
I have found an ultrasound performed in the office is a very effective diagnostic test to diagnose rotator cuff tear.
An MRI is also very good, but has higher cost, and typically requires a scheduled appointment separate from the office visit.

In brief: Ultrasound
I have found an ultrasound performed in the office is a very effective diagnostic test to diagnose rotator cuff tear.
An MRI is also very good, but has higher cost, and typically requires a scheduled appointment separate from the office visit.
Dr. Shawn Hennigan
Dr. Shawn Hennigan
Thank
Dr. David Tuckman
Surgery - Hand Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: MRI
Unfortunately there is no way based just on a physical examination the difference between a rotator cuff strain and a rotator cuff tear.
The only way to fully evaluate the rotator cuff is an mri.

In brief: MRI
Unfortunately there is no way based just on a physical examination the difference between a rotator cuff strain and a rotator cuff tear.
The only way to fully evaluate the rotator cuff is an mri.
Dr. David Tuckman
Dr. David Tuckman
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Charles Metzger
Yes. Or ultrasound.
Dr. Anand Murthi
Orthopedic Surgery - Reconstruction
2 doctors agree
In brief: MRI
A good orthopedist will exam you to determine if you've torn your rotator cuff.
An MRI will provide definitive evidence.

In brief: MRI
A good orthopedist will exam you to determine if you've torn your rotator cuff.
An MRI will provide definitive evidence.
Dr. Anand Murthi
Dr. Anand Murthi
Thank
1 comment
Dr. David Tuckman
This is true but most rotator cuff tears will present the same on physical exam with pain and weakness, it is imposible to determine the difference based just on physical exam.
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Warren Strudwick
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
26 years in practice
490K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors