The pathogenesis and management of cuff tear arthropathy

Caitlin M. Rugg, Robert A. Gallo, Edward V. Craig, Brian T. Feeley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Massive rotator cuff tears may lead to the development of cuff tear arthropathy (CTA). Although this pathology has been recognized for more than 150 years, treatment strategies have continued to evolve. During the last decade, there has been increased understanding of the molecular and cellular changes that govern rotator cuff tear outcomes and development of new treatment strategies to repair or reconstruct the rotator cuff. These have included an expansion of the use of arthroscopic double-row transosseous–equivalent repairs and the development of superior capsule reconstruction. However, the greatest change in the management of CTA has been the expansion of the use of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, which has become the standard of care for patients who do not have a repair option and when nonoperative management has failed. This review article summarizes the current literature on the management of CTA, including nonoperative, repair, reconstruction, and replacement options, with a focus on literature in the last 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2271-2283
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Cuff tear arthropathy
  • Narrative Review
  • fatty atrophy
  • massive rotator cuff tear
  • reverse total shoulder arthroplasty
  • shoulder hemiarthroplasty
  • superior capsule reconstruction


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