RESEARCH ARTICLE

Risk Factors, Pathobiomechanics and Physical Examination of Rotator Cuff Tears

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 21 July 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325001610010277

Abstract

Background:

It is important to appreciate the risk factors for the development of rotator cuff tears and specific physical examination maneuvers.

Methods:

A selective literature search was performed.

Results:

Numerous well-designed studies have demonstrated that common risk factors include age, occupation, and anatomic considerations such as the critical shoulder angle. Recently, research has also reported a genetic component as well. The rotator cuff axially compresses the humeral head in the glenohumeral joint and provides rotational motion and abduction. Forces are grouped into coronal and axial force couples. Rotator cuff tears are thought to occur when the force couples become imbalanced.

Conclusion:

Physical examination is essential to determining whether a patient has an anterosuperior or posterosuperior tear. Diagnostic accuracy increases when combining a series of examination maneuvers.

Keywords: Force couples, Natural history, Pathobiomechanics, Physical examination, Risk factors, Rotator cuff tear, Shoulder, Shoulder joint.
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