What is the role of rotator cuff disorders in the etiology of hemiplegic shoulder pain?

Updated: Feb 08, 2019
  • Author: Robert Gould, DO; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Because rotator cuff tears are prevalent in the general population, it is often difficult to determine whether a tear was present premorbidly or occurred poststroke.

Through the use of shoulder arthrography, Najenson and coauthors demonstrated the incidence of rotator cuff tear on the affected side to be as high as 40% in patients who were poststroke and were experiencing shoulder pain. The incidence on the unaffected side in these patients was only 16%. [18]

Other studies, including one by Joynt, have revealed no incidence of rotator cuff tear with hemiplegic shoulder pain. [32] Teasell reported that hemiplegic shoulder pain is not commonly associated with rotator cuff disorders. [4]

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