Reference:1. Sher JS, et al Abnormal findings on magnetic resonance images of asymptomatic shoulders. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1995 Jan;77(1):10-5. 2. Connor PM, et al Magnetic resonance imaging of the asymptomatic shoulder of overhead athletes: a 5-year follow-up study. Am J Sports Med. 2003 Sep-Oct;31(5):724-7.
MRI studies of adults who have no shoulder pain show that 20% have partial rotator cuff tears and 15% have full thickness tears. In addition, in those over the age of 60, 50% (half) of those who had no shoulder pain or injury had rotator cuff tears on their MRI that they did not even know about.(1)
A study on professional baseball pitchers showed that 40% of them had either partial or full thickness rotator cuff tears and yet had no pain while playing and remained pain free even 5 years after the study.(2)
Translation: Do not panic if your ultrasound and/or MRI shows a rotator cuff tear, it is NOT necessarily associated with shoulder pain!
Posted on: March 09, 2014
Categories: Shoulder , Relevant Physical Therapy Articles