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Clin Shoulder Elb > Volume 17(2); 2014 > Article
Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow 2014;17(2):91-100.
DOI:    Published online June 30, 2014.
Partial Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears
Sang Jin Shin, Myeong Jae Seo
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Received: 9 May 2014   • Revised: 10 June 2014   • Accepted: 11 June 2014
Partial-thickness rotator cuff tear (PTRCT) is not single disease entity but one phase of disease spectrum. Symptoms of PTRCT vary from being asymptomatic to severe pain leading to deterioration in quality of life. Pathogenesis of degenerative PTRCT is multifactorial. Whereas articular sided PTRCT is usually caused by internal causes, both internal and external causes have important role in bursal sided PTRCT. A detailed history, clinical examination and magnetic resonance angiography are used in the diagnosis of PTRCT. Treatment of PTRCT is chosen based on age, demands of patients, causes and depth of tear. In most patients, non-operative treatment should be initiated. Whereas debridement can be done for less than 6 mm of articular sided PTRCT and in less than 3 mm of bursal sided PTRCT, repair techniques should be considered for higher grade PTRCT than that. Although the effect of acromioplasty is not clear, acromioplasty may be performed when the extrinsic causes appear to be the cause of tear. Either transtendon repair technique or repair after tear completion provided satisfactory clinical outcomes in treatment of articular sided PTRCT.
Key Words: Rotator cuff; Partial thickness tear; Articular side; Bursal side


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