Large Acromion Extension Linked to Rotator Cuff Tears

Further studies necessary to determine significance of finding

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A large lateral extension of the acromion is associated with full-thickness tear of the rotator cuff, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Based on observations during surgery and in radiographs that the acromion tends to be large in patients with rotator cuff tears, Richard W. Nyffeler, M.D., from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues used true anteroposterior radiographs made with the arm in neutral rotation to assess the lateral extension of the acromion in 102 patients with a proven full-thickness rotator cuff tear.

The investigators found that acromion index was 0.73 in shoulders with a full-thickness tear. This was significantly different than the index obtained from 47 age- and gender-matched patients with osteoarthritis but an intact rotator cuff (0.60) and 70 age- and gender-matched volunteers with asymptomatic, normal shoulders (0.64).

"Additional studies are necessary to confirm that this aspect of the acromion is a cause rather than a consequence of rotator cuff tears," the authors write.

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Barry Thrash

Barry Thrash

Updated on April 21, 2006

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