In rotator cuff tendinitis, tests usually cause some pain or discomfort.
- If tests are nearly normal (negative), you may have mild tendinitis or bursitis.
- Nonsurgical treatment may be started even if the tests are just slightly positive.
- If an injection of anesthetic into your shoulder relieves pain during the impingement tests, you are more likely to have a rotator cuff problem.
For a torn rotator cuff, weakness with or without pain is the key diagnostic sign.
- If you have a complete tear, you may be unable to raise your arm straight to the side or to hold your arm in that position if your doctor moves it there.
- Rupture of the long head of the biceps tendon, which is often minimally painful, may be apparent as the muscle rolls into a ball down near the elbow. This also can be a marker for a rotator cuff tear.
- If you have a torn rotator cuff, many tests may be abnormal (positive).
- Injecting an anesthetic into your shoulder may relieve pain but will not restore strength if you have a torn rotator cuff.
- It may be hard to tell the difference between partial tears of the rotator cuff and rotator cuff tendinitis or bursitis.
You may have a rotator cuff tear but still have normal shoulder motion and strength. In these cases, the tear is usually mild.In rotator cuff tendinitis, tests usually cause some pain or discomfort. If tests are nearly normal (negative), you may have mild tendinitis or bursitis. Nonsurgical treatment may be started even if the tests are just slightly positive. If... More