Rotator cuff tears – is the contralateral shoulder at risk?
A number of factors contributing to the risk for rotator cuff tears has been identified, of which age is one of the most distinct. Regardless of age, available data suggests that patients with a symptomatic rotator cuff tear in one shoulder have a higher prevalence of rotator cuff tears in the contralateral shoulder, either symptomatic or asymptomatic.
To further investigate this, the current study examined 55 patients treated for a symptomatic rotator cuff tear and 55 using diagnostic ultrasound. The control group was age-matched and gender-matched, in order to eliminate these, possibly confounding, factors from the analysis.
It was found that patients with a symptomatic rotator cuff tear were significantly more likely to develop a rotator cuff tear in the contralateral shoulder. Noteworthy, outcome measures concerning shoulder function were more indicative of the presence of a tear than those evaluating shoulder pain.
> From: Liem et al., Am J Sports Med 42 (2015) 826-830. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.