A possible complication of acute shoulder trauma. Unlike chronic tears, an acute tear needs fairly urgent repair but is easily missed.
- If a person cannot lift their arm past 90 deg following acute shoulder trauma, they need same-day X-ray and review.
- If a person cannot lift their arm past 90 deg two weeks later, they need urgent referral for assessment by either ultrasound or MRI (MRI has greater sensitivity, but both are good).
- Shoulder dislocations in the >40s should also be followed up for possible acute rotator cuff tear.