Full-thickness rotator cuff tear

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Yuranga Weerakkody et al.

Full-thickness rotator cuff tears are a type of rotator cuff tear that extend from the bursal surface to the articular surface.

Radiographic features


They usually appear as hypoechoic or anechoic defects where fluid occupies the area of the torn tendon. Fluid in the region of the torn tendon can also allow increased through-transmission of the ultrasound beam and can accentuate the appearance of the underlying cartilage. A full thickness tear can be either a partial width or full width (complete rupture) depending on the extent of breadth it involves.


The most sensitive finding in full thickness tears is thought to be the presence of fluid signal intensity in the location of the rotator cuff on PD fat-saturated images 3.

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Article information

rID: 60126
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Full thickness rotator cuff tears
  • Full-thickness rotator cuff (RC) tears
  • Full-thickness rotator cuff tears (FTRCT)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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