Severe, global loss of shoulder motion not linked with underlying full-thickness rotator cuff tears
Results of this imaging study on patients with stiff shoulders that demonstrated severe and global loss of passive range of motion shows no correlation between the condition and full-thickness rotator cuff tears.
“[We] found that shoulder stiffness with severe and global loss of passive [range of motion] ROM is not associated with a full-thickness rotator cuff tear, although some patients may demonstrate a partial thickness tear. Shoulders with severe and global loss of ROM at the first visit are likely to be cases of idiopathic adhesive capsulitis and may have less necessity for further imaging studies,” the authors wrote.
Researchers used either MRIs or ultrasounds to prospectively assess 379 stiff shoulders. They measured passive (ROM) with patients in the standing position, and measured forward flexion and external rotation with patients in the supine position. Patients were then categorized into the following groups: those with severe and global loss of passive ROM (89 shoulders, group 1); those with severe limitation in one direction, but no global loss of motion (111 shoulders, group 2); and those with mild to moderate limitation (179 shoulders, group 3).
Investigators found an intact rotator cuff in 91% of shoulders in group 1, 44% of shoulders in group 2 and 35% of shoulders in group 3. Partial-thickness tears were seen in 9% of shoulders in group 1, 17% of shoulders in group 2 and 16% of shoulders in group 3. Although no shoulders in group 1 had full-thickness tears, such tears were found in 39% of shoulders in group 2 and 50% of shoulders in group 3. ‒ by Monica Jaramillo
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.