Without a history of trauma most rotator cuff tears are the result of an ongoing attritional process.

Once present, a tear is likely to gradually increase in size. Pain development in asymptomatic rotator cuff tears is associated with tear size progression.

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is being performed by an increasing number of orthopaedic surgeons and techniques have evolved to the extent that all patterns and sizes of rotator cuff tear, including massive tears, can now be repaired arthroscopically.