Torn Rotator Cuff

Unknown Musculoskeletal Case 2


Presentation

48 y/o paraplegic who fell.

Image Findings

Focal area of increased signal in the superspinatus tendon on all sequences. Tendon is also swollen with fluid in the subacromian bursa and in the joint space.

Discussion

These findings are typical for a torn rotator cuff. With a complete tear, retraction of the tendon may also be seen. Chronic tears may present with atrophy of the tendon and muscle as well. Occationally, a magic angle artifact in the critical zone of the tendon may simulate a tear or tendonitis.

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Last modified March 17, 1995