Evaluation and Arthroscopic Treatment of Partial Rotator Cuff Tears

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Partial thickness tears of the rotator cuff may involve either the articular surface, bursal surface or both sides of the rotator cuff. They may be asymptomatic or a potential source of shoulder dysfunction.30 With the advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and shoulder arthroscopy, more tears are being recognized. The optimal clinical approach to these tears has not been completely defined.26 To gain a better understanding of these tears, we must first understand the anatomy and pathogenesis of these tears and then agree on a classification system to develop a rational approach to their treatment.

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