Rotator cuff tears can be traumatic. It can be from a motor vehicle accident, or falling out of the tree. It can be seen in high level athletes, but it’s unusual because patients in their 20s and 30s and teens have such strong rotator cuffs that it’s unusual to have a tear in that age group, but it is possible. In the weekend warrior population, it’d be more likely. Weekend warriors being say, late 30s, early 40s, 50s – men in particular who are playing softball or flag football and they injure their shoulder. The problem is that as we get older (say 45 and above), the rotator cuff is less well perfused with blood. Our cuff just doesn’t get as much blood supply as we get older. Because of that, it’s more prone to degeneration and more prone to tearing. That’s why we see rotator cuff tears more commonly in the elderly population than in middle aged people and in youth.
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