Saturday, May 2, 2009

What You Inherited From Your Ancestors: Rotator Cuff Disease

The following is reprinted here with permission from Dick Eastman as printed in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, 01 May 2009:

"What You Inherited from Your Ancestors: Rotator Cuff Disease

I know that we all inherit many medical problems from our ancestors but this one surprised me: the Risk of Rotator Cuff Disease?

Writing in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American). Robert Z. Tashjian, MD, James M. Farnham, MS, Frederick S. Albright, PhD, Craig C. Teerlink, MS and Lisa A. Cannon-Albright, PhD wrote:
We analyzed a set of patients with diagnosed rotator cuff disease and a known genealogy to describe the familial clustering of affected individuals. The observations of significant excess relatedness of patients and the significantly elevated risks to both close and distant relatives of patients strongly support a heritable predisposition to rotator cuff disease.

Details are available at:

For those who do not know what constitutes Rotator Cuff Disease (and that included me until a few minutes ago), the rotator cuff is a group of strong, ropelike fibers (tendons) and muscles in the shoulder. Rotator cuff disorders occur when tissues in the shoulder get irritated or damaged.

Rotator cuff disorders include:

* Inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) or of a bursa (bursitis). In the shoulder, a bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that serves as a cushion between the tendons and the bones.

*Impingement, in which a tendon is squeezed and rubs against bone.

*Calcium buildup in the tendons, which causes a painful condition called calcific tendinitis.
Partial or complete tears of the rotator cuff tendons. "

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