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From a retrospective, cohort study of 205 patients diagnosed with full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff, we determined, using ultrasound, the prevalence of such tears in their 129 siblings. Using 150 spouses as controls, the relative risk of full-thickness tears in siblings versus controls was 2.42 (95% CI 1.77 to 3.31). The relative risk of symptomatic full-thickness tears in siblings versus controls was 4.65 (95% CI 2.42 to 8.63). The significantly increased risk for tears in siblings implies that genetic factors play a major role in the development of full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of bone and joint surgery. British volume

Publication Date





696 - 700


Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Oxford, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Headington, England.


Humans, Rupture, Epidemiologic Methods, Pedigree, Siblings, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Rotator Cuff Injuries