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Q. Can rotator cuff tear be identified with MRI?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Shoyab
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 23, 2022

Hi doctor,

I have pain in my shoulder and cannot move easily. I also have numbness in my fingers and pain in my elbow. Will the MRI view suggest for rotator cuff tear?

Please help.

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Hello,

Welcome to iCliniq.com.

Thanks for addressing your queries to us. What I see on your MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is some high signal in the rotator interval. This is a combination of some ligaments that bind the arm to the shoulder (and others are intact). So this high signal represents a sprain of those ligaments and can explain your pain. There is also a high signal along with the long head of the biceps but no such appearance within the biceps tendon itself. In that case, I infer that this high signal also comes from the rotator interval sprain. According to my understanding, a sprain of the rotator cuff (instead of a tear) may be amenable without surgery, but the concerned specialists will make the definitive decision. Your shoulder x-ray shows no fracture or bony lesion. I wish you all the best.


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