What is the best way to diagnose a suspected rotator cuff tear?
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The evaluation of a suspected rotator cuff tear should start with a history and a clinical exam of the shoulder (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, based on a systematic review of cohort studies). Three clinical test results in particular— supraspinatus weakness, weakness of external rotation, and impingement—or 2 positive tests for a patient older than 60 years were highly predictive of rotator cuff tear (SOR: B, based on individual prospective study).
Journal of Family Practice, 55(7) 2006: 621+.