Current Imaging of the Rotator Cuff


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Abstract

Rotator cuff pathology is a common cause of shoulder pain, and imaging plays a major role in the management of shoulder problems. General radiography may be useful as an initial screening test particularly in trauma and arthritis. Musculoskeletal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are the most suitable modalities for the investigation of the rotator cuff, having high sensitivities and specificities for full-thickness tears. Musculoskeletal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are less accurate in the detection of partial-thickness tears with greater observer variability. This article reviews the normal and pathologic imaging features of the rotator cuff and highlights the potential usefulness and limitations of various imaging modalities in the assessment of the tendon and the potential impact of imaging findings on clinical patient care.

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