A study was conducted to find out the prevalence and risk factors of a rotator cuff tear in the general population. The purpose was to clarify the true occurrence of rotator cuff tears regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms.
Study participants consisted of 683 people; 229 males and 454 females with a mean age of 57.9 years (age range was 22-87). Background factors were examined, physical examinations and ultrasonographic examinations on both shoulders.
Interestingly, 20.7% of the study participants had a rotator cuff tear and the frequency increased with age. 36% had a rotator cuff tear with symptoms and 16.9% had a rotator cuff tear but were asymptomatic.
In conclusion, 20.7% of 1,366 shoulders had full thickness rotator cuff tears in the general population. The risk factors included a history of trauma, dominant arm and age.
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