Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal symptom encountered in medical practice after back and neck pain, accounting for almost 3 million patient visits each year in the United States. A wide range of potential pathoanatomic entities can give rise to shoulder pain, from simple sprains to massive rotator cuff injuries and tears. The majority of these conditions are amenable to conservative treatment. Rotator cuff dysfunction is a particularly important entity because it occurs frequently and may necessitate surgical treatment. This report will provide a critical overview of current diagnostic and treatment techniques for rotator cuff disease.

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