Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Steinberg Answers Questions About Rotator Cuff Surgery and Partial Tears

Question: I was told by a doctor that I have a partial tear on MRI of my rotator cuff. Do I need to undergo urgent surgery as recommended?

Answer: Be very careful.  MRI's are notorious for over interpretation.  These findings could represent fraying of the rotator cuff or simply tendinitis of the rotator cuff.  Most patients will respond to conservative non-operative treatments such as therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and/or injection.  If these should fail to resolve the symptoms of pain and weakness, then the next option would be arthroscopic surgical intervention.

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