The Open Orthopaedics Journal

ISSN: 1874-3250 ― Volume 14, 2020

Recovery of Range of Motion and Decrease in Pain after Progression of Supraspinatus Tendon Tear: A Case Report

Yoshihiro Hagiwara1, *, Junichiro Hamada2, Akira Ando3, Kenji Kanazawa4, Yutaka Yabe1, Eiji Itoi1
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kuwano Kyoritsu Hospital, Koriyama, Japan
3 Department of Otrhopaedic Surgery, Matsuda Hospital, Sendai, Japan
4 Department of Otrhopaedic Surgery, South Miyagi Medical Center, Ohgawara, Japan


Rotator cuff disease is one of the most prevalent shoulder disabilities especially in the elderly population. Tear progression is significantly greater in the symptomatic patients than in the asymptomatic ones. From these aspects, shoulder surgeons interpret surgical indications and counsel patients regarding the risk of non-operative treatments. However, there were a few reports that pain and duration of symptoms were not strongly associated with severity of rotator cuff tears, and non-operative management with physical therapy was effective. There have remained controversies for the treatment of rotator cuff tears.

A 59-year-old man with a sedentary work life experienced right shoulder pain with abduction at night. However, the pain kept worsening after two months, and he finally visited our clinic three months after the onset of pain. Magnetic resonance imaging in the coronal and axial planes showed effusion around the subacromial and subcoracoid bursae and joint-side tear of the supraspinatus tendon. A range of motion in the right shoulder was severely restricted at the initial visit of our clinic. After sufficient rehabilitation, the symptoms were not changed and an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair was scheduled. However, during waiting for surgery, he felt something popped in the right shoulder while wearing a jacket. Immediately after this, pain during motion and at night decreased, and he experienced no difficulty with activities of daily living and the surgery was cancelled. This is the first case with a recovery of range of motion and a decrease in pain after progression of a supraspinatus tendon tear.

Keywords: Supraspinatus tendon tear, Rotator cuff disease, Rotator cuff tear, Coracohumeral ligament, Adhesions, Shoulder.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2019
Volume: 13
First Page: 84
Last Page: 88
Publisher Id: TOORTHJ-13-84
DOI: 10.2174/1874325001913010084

Article History:

Received Date: 31/10/2018
Revision Received Date: 20/01/2019
Acceptance Date: 17/02/2019
Electronic publication date: 26/03/2019
Collection year: 2019

© 2019 Hagiwara et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan; Tel: +81-22-7177245; Fax: +81-22-7177238; E-mail:

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