Clin Should Elbow.  2014 Dec;17(4):209-217. 10.5397/cise.2014.17.4.209.

Current Concept of Management of Partial-thickness Rotator Cuff Tear

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Eulji Hospital, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Most studies on the pathophysiology, natural history, diagnosis by imaging and outcomes after operative or nonoperative treatment of rotator cuff tear have focused on those of full-thickness tears, resulting in limited knowledge of partial-thickness rotator cuff tears. However, a partial-thickness tear of the rotator cuff is a common disorder and can be the cause of persistent pain and dysfunction of the shoulder joint in the affected patients. Recent updates in the literatures shows that the partial-thickness tears are not merely mild form of full-thickness tears. Over the last decades, an improved knowledge of pathophysiology and surgical techniques of partial-thickness tears has led to more understanding of the significance of this tear and better outcomes. In this review, we discuss the current concept of management for partial-thickness tears in terms of the pathogenesis, natural history, nonoperative treatment, and surgical outcomes associated with the commonly used repair techniques.


Rotator cuff; Tear; Partial

MeSH Terms

Natural History
Rotator Cuff*
Shoulder Joint
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