Most rotator cuff tears can be repaired by conventional methods.
Even in the case of massive tears, repair or reconstruction is usually
feasible and the outcome is usually good1,2.
While there is no universal agreement on the definition, in North
America Cofield's3 definition
of a massive tear as one with a diameter of five centimeters or
greater is used. Furthermore, there appear to be two distinct patterns
of tears, each with a different epidemiology, mechanism of injury,
associated disability, and prognosis4.
The more common, posterior-superior configuration involves the supraspinatus
and the infraspinatus, and the less common, anterior-superior configuration
involves the subscapularis and the supraspinatus.