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Surgical management of large rotator cuff tears combined with instability in elite rugby football players


Large rotator cuff tears are extremely uncommon in young people and when they occur they may be associated with shoulder instability. This paper reports on a series of six elite rugby union and rugby league footballers who presented with shoulder instability and large rotator cuff tears. They were treated with a two stage procedure: an open rotator cuff repair followed by an open shoulder stabilisation some 10 weeks later. All had successful outcomes. The paper also highlights the risk of tearing the rotator cuff when a patient continues to play contact sport with an untreated unstable shoulder.

  • shoulder
  • rotator cuff tear
  • rugby

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