Acute rotator cuff tears indicate that there’s an injury. Someone who was lifting some very heavy weights or they had a fall or some sort of trauma to their shoulder which tore the rotator cuff.
Chronic rotator cuff tears occur with just wear and tear on your body over time and I try to be politically correct with patients and say, it’s just a number of birthdays. It’s an odds game. The older you are, the more likely you’re going to have a rotator cuff tear
Rotator cuff tears, or substantial rotator cuff tears, are very rarely seen in teenagers or people in their twenties. This demographic can get partial tears but larger rotator cuff tears tend to be a disease of age. There are some patients who unfortunately get the short end of the genetic stick with their rotator cuff and they can get fairly sizeable tears younger, in their maybe thirties or forties, is kind of the earliest you see them but as you get into your forties, fifties, sixties, seventies you see more and more rotator cuff tears and those are the chronic ones.
Acute tears are due to an injury.
Chronic tears are just wear and tear on your body that occurs across our lives.