Selda Başar1, Ulunay Kanatlı2, Seyit Çıtaker1, Selçuk Bölükbaşı2

1Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Gazi University Faculty of Health Sciences, Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Medical Faculty of Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey

Keywords: Cyst; functional outcome; muscle atrophy; rotator cuff tears; shoulder.


Objectives: This study aims to compare rotator cuff muscle atrophy with fatty degeneration, tear size, range of motion, shoulder muscle strength, pain and upper extremity function in patients with chronic rotator cuff tear, and with or without anterior greater tuberosity cyst.
Patients and methods: A total of 101 patients (32 males, 69 females; mean age 51±12.9 years; range 17 to 76 years) were evaluated in this study. Fifty-eight patients were excluded due to traumatic or acute rotator cuff tears and neck pain. Forty-three patients of chronic rotator cuff tear were divided into two groups as patients with (n=15) and without (n=28) an anterior greater tuberosity cyst. Patients were evaluated for range of motion, shoulder muscle strength, pain and upper extremity function, and radiologically. Statistical differences were investigated between two groups.
Results: The number of patients with tears larger than 1 cm and the number of patients who had muscle atrophy were higher in the group of patients with a cyst. Also, upper extremity function was reduced in the group of patients with a cyst (Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index, p=0.03, Nine-Hole Peg Test, p=0.02).
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that decreased function, larger cuff tears and muscle atrophy can be observed patients with anterior greater tuberosity cysts. Anterior greater tuberosity cysts can be detected by plain X-rays. The presence of these cysts should warn the physician regarding the possibility of decreased shoulder function, muscle atrophy and larger cuff tear before ordering a magnetic resonance imaging.