Ultrasonography of rotator cuff tears: A review of 500 diagnostic studies

Jeffrey R. Crass, Edward V. Craig, Samuel B. Feinberg

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74 Scopus citations


Ultrasonography of the rotator cuff has been shown to be of value in diagnosing rotator cuff tears. This report summarizes our experience with our first 500 diagnostic examinations. All patients were examined in the hyperextended internal rotation view with commercially available high‐resolution real‐time ultrasound equipment. Patients were diagnosed as having a rotator cuff tear if a focal echogenic lesion or a defect within the rotator cuff was identified. This study confirmed the value of ultrasonography for the diagnosis of rotator cuff tears. Accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity all exceeded 90%, and correlated with surgical findings. This was better than arthrography in the same patient population. Ultrasound is an accurate noninvasive method of examining the rotator cuff for the presence of tears. We suggest that rotator cuff ultrasonography is the procedure of choice for the diagnosis of tears if adequate instrumentation is available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-327
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1988


  • Rotator cuff ultrasonography
  • Shoulder
  • Tears, rotator cuffs
  • Tendon, rotator cuff


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