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May 1971

Ruptures of the Rotator Cuff of the Shoulder: New Concepts in the Diagnosis and Operative Treatment of Chronic Ruptures

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, George Washington University Medical School and Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(5):483-485. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350050049015

Forty-two cases tend to disprove the conception that a diagnosis of a rupture of the rotator cuff should be based on the inability of a patient to abduct the arm well and that the "drop arm" test is a good diagnostic sign. All patients with a chronic rupture had good abduction, but the predominating complaint was pain. Arthrography confirmed the diagnosis. When large defects with retraction were found at operation, anatomical reposition was often impossible. In ten such patients the intra-articular portion of the long head of the biceps was used as a free graft by sectioning the tendon in a book-like fashion. The end results were quite satisfactory in nine patients who obtained a good range of motion with definite decrease in pain.

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