4 doctors weighed in:

What would you suggest about having partial rotator cuff surgery and is this tear a high risk of increasing? I've just been diagnosis with a partial focal tear of the supraspinatus at insertion with most anchor fiber intact. After steriod injection, my ri

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Ring
Surgery - Hand Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: I

I don't have all the answers, but i might be able to clarify a few things.
First of all, when a test is interpreted as showing a "tear", that implies damage that should be repaired. But rotator cuff tendinopathy is more like greying and hair loss--expected changes with age. I find the term "partial tear" particularly misleading and even sinister. It's really just a signal change on MRI due to the changes in the tendon. You don't state your age and sport. If you are a throwing athlete under 40 years of age, the process is different. Second, and to reinforce the first point, not all of these tendon changes cause pain. We know this from studies of patients with no shoulder pain and from studies of a patient's non-painful shoulder. Third, like greying and hair loss we do know that rotator cuff tendinopathy is progressive. Finally surgery does not cure the problem any more than hair plugs or rogain cures hair loss--it just patches things up for a bit. The larger the defect, the quicker it will recur. Surgery helps many people feel better, but you should not have surgery under the misconception that it is necessary.

In brief: I

I don't have all the answers, but i might be able to clarify a few things.
First of all, when a test is interpreted as showing a "tear", that implies damage that should be repaired. But rotator cuff tendinopathy is more like greying and hair loss--expected changes with age. I find the term "partial tear" particularly misleading and even sinister. It's really just a signal change on MRI due to the changes in the tendon. You don't state your age and sport. If you are a throwing athlete under 40 years of age, the process is different. Second, and to reinforce the first point, not all of these tendon changes cause pain. We know this from studies of patients with no shoulder pain and from studies of a patient's non-painful shoulder. Third, like greying and hair loss we do know that rotator cuff tendinopathy is progressive. Finally surgery does not cure the problem any more than hair plugs or rogain cures hair loss--it just patches things up for a bit. The larger the defect, the quicker it will recur. Surgery helps many people feel better, but you should not have surgery under the misconception that it is necessary.
Dr. David Ring
Dr. David Ring
Thank
Dr. Boris Aronzon
Anesthesiology

In brief: MRI

Your surgeon examined you and saw your mri.
He is the best guide, not internet. Unsure, get 2 nd opinion from another orthopedic surgeon. Good luck.

In brief: MRI

Your surgeon examined you and saw your mri.
He is the best guide, not internet. Unsure, get 2 nd opinion from another orthopedic surgeon. Good luck.
Dr. Boris Aronzon
Dr. Boris Aronzon
Thank
1 comment
Dr. David Trettin
Partial thickness RCT's are common. If symptomatic see an experienced arthroscopic shoulder surgeon for evaluation... Arthroscopic intrasubstance repair, debridement , " taking down" the remainder of the tear and performing arthroscopic RTC repair are all options depending on the thickness of the tear.So is non- op tx. w/ RTC strengthening.
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