Rotator Cuff Tear Part 1: Anatomy

Rotator Cuff Tear Part 1: Anatomy


(upbeat music) – The rotator cuff tendons are important for proper function of your shoulder. These tendons help move your shoulder throughout it’s wide range of motion. Since every motion of the
shoulder uses these tendons, over time this leads to wear
and tear of the rotator cuff. Injury or degeneration of the tendons often leads to a very
painful and weak shoulder. Rotator cuff tears can occur at any age. But are increasingly more
common by middle age. Today we’re going to talk
about rotator cuff tears. It’s a common cause of pain
and weakness of your shoulder. You’re going to learn, first of all, how does a rotator cuff tear develop? Then, what does a tear feel like and what activities cause it to tear? What are the best ways to determine if you have a rotator cuff tear? Well what happens during and after surgery to eliminate your pain? And finally, how do
you prevent and protect against future rotator cuff tears? Let’s take a look at
the different parts list of your shoulder and see how they all work together to move your arm. We start with the shoulder blade. This is the socket. This is the ball that fits in the socket. This is the arm. Above the ball we have
two bones that connect. Bone A connects to bone
C and forms a joint. Just to orient you, here’s
the mouth, nose, eyes. Here’s your armpit. On the side of the ball is a rope that pulls in this direction
because it’s connected to a muscle. This rope rotates your arm, so we call it the rotator. It forms a cuff where it
attaches to the side of the ball. Hence the word cuff. And it’s a tendon. A tendon is a rope like
structure that connects a muscle. The arrow is supposed to be a muscle. To the bone. Again, up above we have
sitting like a roof two bones, the acromion bone A, connected to the collar bone C. So these are the bones. Now what happens with a tear is the following. First of all, we find that bone A usually develops a rather
significant spur like this. And bone C will also have some spurs. So this is A, this is C. The ball and socket often stay in pretty good shape like this. And the rotator cuff gets
pinched underneath this spur. So that rotator cuff gets swollen. Underneath the spur it thins out. Swollen. And then one day it finally tears through. So that we end up with one end here and the other end here. So, this is your bones spurs. And your torn rotator cuff tendon. Occasionally, this tear may
not be picked up for a while or diagnosed for a while. And the muscle can keep
separating the two ends. As a result, we can see, again, the ball and socket. The arm. And now one end of the tear is here. The other end is way over here. And stuck down in scar tissue. This is a much more serious and difficult tear to repair. I should also mention, that occasionaly there is no large spur, but just a bone A that has kind of a hook on it. Like this. So this is A, this is C. And if a person takes a hard
fall on a shoulder like this, even if they are a younger person like a young athlete. You can also tear acutely that rotator cuff tendon. So, in summary then, we have the normal parts list. We have a situation where bone spurs and a resulting rotator
cuff tendon tear occur. So this is a torn rotator cuff tendon. Sometimes the ends are quite
significantly separated. And occasionally you’ll
have this torn tendon occur in a younger
patient such as an athlete who may not have a spur, but a hook, and takes a very hard fall
that tears the tendon. (upbeat music)

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About the Author: John Markowski

14 Comments

  1. tore mine swimming in may and played polo until it gave up. have yet to convince my parents to take me to the doctor

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  3. I had a rotator cuff tear when I was 17 I was a pitcher. But now I'm 28 and my right arm is smaller then my left and is much weaker. I went to phyisical theropy for it 10 years ago. But I just noticed my right arm is longer then my left by like a inch it is hurting me now but is my right arm longer because of that???

  4. I had a rotator cuff tear when I was 17 I was a pitcher. But now I'm 28 and my right arm is smaller then my left and is much weaker. I went to phyisical theropy for it 10 years ago. But I just noticed my right arm is longer then my left by like a inch it is hurting me now but is my right arm longer because of that???

  5. Hello I was diagnosed with acromion 3 the hook and o have calcification and spurs tears & degenerative issues. My right has more stuff then my left…Im in my early 50's the Dr wants to do athroscopic surgery on both at once..I'm afraid..do u think it's a good idea? Also could the hook have caused my tears..The hook is in my right..

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