Among pathologies of the shoulder, rotator cuff tear is the most common. Diagnosis of cuff tear around mid twenties is unusual, but the prevalence increases significantly after the age of forty. The prevalence after the age of 60 is around 20-30%. A well recognised feature of cuff tear is being asymptomatic but, tear progression in asymptomatic is a known consequence. The spectrum of cuff tear ranges from partial, full thickness cuff tear with or without retraction. The mainstay of treatment for partial thickness cuff tear is systematic rehabilitation and for the full thickness cuff tear an initial rehabilitation is an accepted management. Failed rehabilitation for 3 months, acute traumatic tear, younger age, intractable pain, good quality muscle would be the indications for repair of a full thickness cuff tear. Though there are defined indications for surgical intervention in the full thickness rotator cuff tear, differentiating an asymptomatic tear that would not progress or identifying a tear that would become better with rehabilitation is an undeniable challenge for even the most experienced surgeon. Rehabilitation in cuff tear consists of strengthening the core stabilizers along with rotator cuff and deltoid muscles. In a symptomatic cuff tear that merits surgical intervention the objective is to do an anatomical foot print repair. In scenarios where the cuff is retracted, one has to settle for a medialised repair. As, a repair done in tension is more likely to fail than a tensionless medialised repair. The success rate of all these non anatomical procedures varies from series to series but it approximates around 60-80%. Augmenting cuff repair to enhance biological healing is a recent advance in rotator cuff repair surgery. The augmentation factors can be growth factors like PRP, scaffolds both auto and allografts. The outcome of these procedures from literature has been variable. As there are no major harmful effects, it can be viewed as another future step in bringing better outcomes to patients having rotator cuff tear surgery. Despite being the commonest shoulder pathology, the rotator cuff tear still remains as a condition with varied presenting features and a wide variety of management options. The goal of the treatment is to achieve pain free shoulders with good function. Correcting altered scapular kinematics by systematic rehabilitation of the shoulder would be the first choice in all partial thickness cuff tear and also as an initial management of full thickness cuff tears. Failure of rehabilitation would be the step forward for a surgical intervention. While embarking on a surgical procedure, correct patient selection, sound surgical technique, appropriate counselling about expected outcome are the most essential in patient satisfaction.





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