A partial rotator cuff tear is a type of torn rotator cuff where only some of the tendon had been damaged.
A rotator cuff can tear as a result of degeneration of the tendon from excessive use or from an injury. If the tear does not go all the way through the tendon, it is considered a partial tear. This injury commonly affects people over the age of 40 and people who do repetitive overhead lifting.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear typically include pain or weakness when lifting and lowering the arm. If a tear is the result of a fall or other traumatic injury, there may be an extremely painful snapping sensation, followed immediately by weakness.
Non-surgical treatment of a rotator cuff tear may include physical therapy, along with anti-inflammatory or steroidal medication. If these aren’t successful in treating the injury, surgery may be recommended.
Surgery most often involves re-attaching the tendon to the upper arm bone, although if the tear is partial, the surgeon will perform a debridement.
For some patients, stem cell injections may be an option to treat pain and improve the body’s capacity to heal itself.