The shoulder is one of the most flexible joints in our body, allowing us to perform a variety of movements every day. But constant use and injuries put stress on the tendons that support this complex structure, leading to tears. These tears usually cause severe pain, weakness and limitation of movements, seriously affecting the quality of life. By understanding the origin and ways to treat this condition, we can take meaningful steps to alleviate and restore shoulder functionality.

What Is A Shoulder Tendon Rupture?

Tendons are strong fibers that connect muscles to bones. In the shoulder, the rotator cuff tendons (a group of four tendons) are responsible for joint movement and stability. Rupture occurs when these tendons are overstretched or torn.

Causes of Tendon Rupture

Rupture of shoulder tendons can be caused by a number of factors, including:

1. Trauma: A sudden injury, such as a fall or a hard blow to the shoulder, can cause the tendons to rupture.
2. Overuse: Repetitive use of the shoulder in activities such as tennis, swimming, or overhead work can wear down the tendons over time.
3. Wear and tear due to Age: As we age, tendons can become weaker and more vulnerable to tears.

Symptoms of Rupture of Shoulder Tendons

Symptoms of tendon rupture in the shoulder include:

● Pain: Usually severe pain that may be worse at night or when raising the arm.
● Weakness: Difficulty raising the arm or holding objects.
● Limited Motion: Reduced range of motion of the shoulder.
● Cramps (Cracking) : Crackling or clicking sensation in the shoulder during movement.

Diagnosis of Tendon Rupture

The diagnosis of shoulder tendon rupture is usually made through clinical examination and imaging methods. Your doctor may ask for:

● X-ray: To rule out other causes of pain, such as osteoarthritis.
● Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To confirm the presence and extent of tendon rupture.

Treatment of Rupture of Shoulder Tendons

Tendon rupture treatment can be conservative or surgical, depending on the severity of the rupture and the needs of the patient.

Conservative therapy

For smaller tears or when surgery is not necessary, conservative treatment includes:

● Rest: Avoiding activities that worsen the pain.
● Ice therapy: Applying ice to the shoulder to reduce pain and swelling (swelling).
● Pharmaceutical Treatment: Use of anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
● Physiotherapy: Strengthening and flexibility exercises to restore shoulder functionality.
● Infusions of biological healing agents.

Surgical Treatment

In cases where the rupture is severe or conservative treatment fails, surgery is necessary. Options include:

● Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure where the surgeon uses a micro camera and special micro tools to repair the tear.
● Arthroplasty: In more severe cases, that is, in massive and neglected tendon tears that cannot be repaired arthroscopically, joint replacement is usually required, through a surgery called “Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty”.
● Rescue Arthroscopy of the Shoulder: Specialized technique applied by Dr. Chiotis in cases of massive and neglected tendon ruptures and can exempt you from an arthroplasty as long as there are no cartilage and bone changes. It is carried out through minimal millimeter incisions, bloodless, while the patient experiences a relatively painless procedure.

Recovery and Recovery

Recovery from shoulder tendon rupture surgery can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the tear and the treatment approach. Physical therapy plays a key role in helping to restore strength and flexibility to the shoulder.

● First Weeks: Rest and ice therapy to reduce pain and swelling (swelling).
● Next Weeks: Physical therapy begins with gentle range of motion exercises.
● Later Stage: Progressive strengthening and functional exercises to restore full functionality of the shoulder.

Prevention of Rupture of Shoulder Tendons

Prevention is always better than cure. Some tips for preventing shoulder tendon rupture include:

● Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening of the shoulder muscles with resistance exercises.
● Shoulder Belt Flexibility: Regular stretches to maintain shoulder flexibility.
● Avoiding Overuse: Avoiding repetitive movements that can strain the tendons.
● Good Posture: Maintain good body posture to avoid burdening the shoulders.


Rupture of shoulder tendons is a common and painful condition that can limit your daily activity. But with proper diagnosis and treatment, full recovery is possible. If you are experiencing symptoms of a tendon rupture, don’t hesitate to consult an orthopedic surgeon to discuss treatment options that are right for you.