15 doctors weighed in:
Does a partial rotator cuff tear require right shoulder arthroscopy?
15 doctors weighed in

Dr. Paul Grutter
Orthopedic Surgery
6 doctors agree
In brief: Sometimes
Partial thickness rtc tears are generally managed with physical therapy.
Shoulder arthroscopy is indicated for partial thickness tears that fail to improve with non-operative treatment.

In brief: Sometimes
Partial thickness rtc tears are generally managed with physical therapy.
Shoulder arthroscopy is indicated for partial thickness tears that fail to improve with non-operative treatment.
Dr. Paul Grutter
Dr. Paul Grutter
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1 comment
Dr. Jeffrey Sider
Sometimes a partial thickness tear may require a surgical AC decompression to relieve pain if therapy is not successful and also to prevent a full thickness rotator cuff tear
Dr. Gregory Harvey
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Partial tear
Not always. Recommend you try a physical therapy program first.

In brief: Partial tear
Not always. Recommend you try a physical therapy program first.
Dr. Gregory Harvey
Dr. Gregory Harvey
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Dr. Robert Coats II
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Sometimes
Think of the rotator cuff as a rope.
A frayed rope will still work until enough fraying occurs and it breaks. For a rotator cuff, it takes about 50% before the tendon becomes to painful/weak to function. At this point it needs to be repaired. Sometimes the shoulder environment that leads to the partial tearing, bursitis, tendinitis and bone spurs, needs to be surgically addressed to improve pain.

In brief: Sometimes
Think of the rotator cuff as a rope.
A frayed rope will still work until enough fraying occurs and it breaks. For a rotator cuff, it takes about 50% before the tendon becomes to painful/weak to function. At this point it needs to be repaired. Sometimes the shoulder environment that leads to the partial tearing, bursitis, tendinitis and bone spurs, needs to be surgically addressed to improve pain.
Dr. Robert Coats II
Dr. Robert Coats II
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Dr. Charles Toman
Sports Medicine
In brief: Not always
Millions of people are living with partial thickness rotator cuff tears.
Not all need to be repaired. If you have significant symptoms and you have failed conservative treatments like injections and therapy, then surgery can be considered. Make sure that you visit an orthopedic shoulder specialist. Thank you.

In brief: Not always
Millions of people are living with partial thickness rotator cuff tears.
Not all need to be repaired. If you have significant symptoms and you have failed conservative treatments like injections and therapy, then surgery can be considered. Make sure that you visit an orthopedic shoulder specialist. Thank you.
Dr. Charles Toman
Dr. Charles Toman
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Dr. Kevin Shaw
Orthopedic Surgery
In brief: NO
A partial tear is treated with physical therapy and sometimes a steroid injection into the subacromial space.
A partial tear not responding to the therapy sometime goes on to need surgery after 3-6 months of symptoms. http://www.reconortho.com/treatments/shoulder/rotator_cuff_surgery.

In brief: NO
A partial tear is treated with physical therapy and sometimes a steroid injection into the subacromial space.
A partial tear not responding to the therapy sometime goes on to need surgery after 3-6 months of symptoms. http://www.reconortho.com/treatments/shoulder/rotator_cuff_surgery.
Dr. Kevin Shaw
Dr. Kevin Shaw
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