Arthroscopic Debridement for Massive Rotator Cuff Tears

  • Steven Cohen
  • Kirsten Poehling-Monaghan


Massive rotator cuff tears, particularly those with significant retraction and associated muscle atrophy, can present a unique problem to the shoulder surgeon. In certain cases where repair of the tissue is not warranted or possible, debridement may offer a viable solution. This case highlights steps in treatment of a massive rotator cuff tear with atrophy of the supraspinatus musculature when the primary complaint is shoulder pain. The rotator cuff was noted to be significantly retracted and impossible to mobilize back to the footprint. The shoulder was moved immediately post-op and there was excellent pain relief for the first year postoperatively. In the low-demand patient with pain as a predominant debilitating symptom, arthroscopic debridement of massive, irreparable rotator cuff tears can offer a reliable alternative to formal repair.


Massive rotator cuff tear Arthroscopic debridement Shoulder arthroscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rothman Institute of OrthopeadicsPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Precision Orthopedics and Sports MedicineSilver SpringsUSA

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