2 Indications and current treatments

2 Indications and current treatments

2.1 Patients with rotator cuff tears may have shoulder pain and weakness accompanied by functional limitation leading to a reduced quality of life. Rotator cuff tears can be caused by an injury or can develop gradually. They can be minor or severe depending on the degree of damage to the tendon. Minor tears to the rotator cuff are very common and may not cause any symptoms at all. Diagnosis is usually confirmed by ultrasound or MRI.

2.2 Conservative treatment may include physical therapy, pharmacological treatments (including pain relief and topical or oral non‑steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and corticosteroid injections. If the tear is severe or has not responded to other treatments, surgical interventions such as debridement, rotator cuff repair, subacromial smoothing, tendon transfer, or shoulder arthroplasty may be needed.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)