The rotator cuff is a tendons cap that covers upper arm coming from the shoulder blade. The cap is composed of four different tendons (supraspinatus muscle, infraspinatus muscle, subscapularis muscle, teres minor muscle) which unite over the humerus. The rotator cuff stabilizes the top shaping of the arm in the joint and is helping to move the shoulder.
Injuries in the rotator cuff can be occure as partial ruptures (partial tear of the tendon) or total ruptures (complete tear of the tendon). By far most common are tears in the supraspinatus, after that tears in the infraspinatus and subscapularis are often found. The teres minor is almost never affected.
Partial rupture: By using physical therapy and manual therapy the healing process of partial tears and small defects in the rotator cuff are significantly supported.
Total rupture: One or more tendans are torn completely. In this situation, a surgery (refixation) is necessary. The aim of the refixation is to return to a normal anatomy. The defective tendons are reattached with threads to their original position on the bone.
The primarly goals of conservative or surgical therapy are to build-up muscles and to regain full joint mobility. The treatment can take several weeks upt to six month.