Rupture In The Rotator Sheath: This You Should Know

A rupture in the rotator cuff causes pain and restricts shoulder movements. In this article, we will take a closer look at what it is and why it happens.
Rotator sheath rupture: you should know this

A rupture of the rotator cuff is an injury that often affects the shoulders of middle-aged people. These days, it is one of the leading causes of shoulder pain .

Unfortunately, the shoulder is a body part that tends to atrophy, which often leads to discomfort. In fact, an injury in this area is very paralyzing and painful. We will therefore explain everything you need to know about ruptures in the rotator cuff in this article.

What is a rupture in the rotator cuff?

This type of injury affects about 4 out of every 100,000 people each year.

You should note that the incidence increases with age. Most people who suffer from it are actually between 50 and 60 years old. This usually happens because the damage in this joint is closely related to the passage of time and degradation. Unlike other joint problems, strokes will not cause this type of problem.

Most cases of rupture of the rotator cuff occur in people who continuously perform shoulder movements at work or in their free time. For example, it tends to appear among athletes, carpenters and painters.

What is the rotator cuff?

X-ray of the rotator cuff

As we have already mentioned, the rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons. All of these surround the joint and hold the humerus (upper arm bone) in place. They also allow you to perform arm movements correctly, such as rotation and raising of the arm. These muscles are small, but they make the movements precise and coordinated. They are:

  • Supraspinatus
  • Subscapularis
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor

Supraspinatus is the one most prone to injury of them all. This is the muscle that is responsible for the lateral raising of the arm, so the movement becomes painful and difficult when it is injured.

What causes a rupture in the rotator cuff?

Usually a rupture in the rotator cuff is due to wear on the tendons due to repeated use. Examples of this are when you lift heavy objects or keep your arm raised for extended periods.

However, it can also occur due to a sudden injury. It is less common, but sometimes it can be caused by a fall or a sudden movement. The risk factors that are most related to rupture in the rotator knob are:

  • Age. As we mentioned earlier, this disorder mainly affects people between the ages of 50 and 60.
  • Certain jobs, such as carpentry or construction work. This is because there are professions where repetitive exercises are constantly performed.
  • A life where you play sports such as tennis or baseball.
  • Having a personal or family history with this condition.

Symptoms of rotator cuff rupture

A man with shoulder pain

The symptoms that occur depend on the severity of the injury. However, the main symptom is pain in the shoulder. Similarly , all movements in this joint are restricted.

Some people experience the problem mainly at bedtime. In fact, they find it almost impossible to sleep on the injured side. Tasks such as brushing your hair, getting dressed or even washing yourself also become more complicated.

A rupture in the rotator cuff can lead to serious complications if not treated properly. This is because a limb that is not as active as it should be will end up being even weaker. The treatment will thus be a little more complicated. If this joint does not move enough you may end up with a chronic deterioration of the shoulder.


First , a doctor will perform a physical examination to diagnose the defect in the rotator cuff. During the examination, they will take a closer look at the ability to move the shoulder, strength and any joint pain.

Similarly, they often perform complementary tests such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging. This is because ultrasound allows them to evaluate the tendons and muscles as you move. In addition, it is a reasonable and non-invasive examination.


As we said at the beginning, this is an injury that often affects middle-aged people. It is a very disabling injury, so you should see your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the symptoms.

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