The rotator cuff is a unique structure in the shoulder that is formed by four tendons. These four tendons attach to four muscles that help keep the shoulder stabilized in the socket (or glenoid) and help rotate the upper arm inward and outward. If the rotator cuff is torn and is not repaired, a type of wear and tear arthritis of the shoulder can develop over time.
This condition is sometimes called arthropathy and the term cuff tear arthropathy is used to describe this type of arthritis of the shoulder that develops when the rotator cuff is damaged.
If you develop this condition, your shoulder will be painful. Movement and strength of the shoulder will be decreased. Moving the arm away from the body and raising it over your head can be especially difficult.
This downloadable guide will help you understand what parts of the shoulder are involved, what causes this condition, how doctors diagnose the condition and what treatment options are available.