If youre a baseball fan, youve heard about rotator cuff injuries. Perhaps a pitcher on your favorite team required surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. These types of shoulder injuries are not limited to athletes, though. In fact, about 95 percent of clinically significant rotator cuff tears occur in people age 55 and older, and most result from gradual degeneration hastened by repetitive activities. Not all rotator cuff injuries require surgery, but they do warrant a prompt medical evaluation and treatment to prevent further damage and loss of function in your shoulder. If you have symptoms, its definitely something you shouldnt ignore, says Eric Ricchetti, MD, a Cleveland Clinic orthopaedic surgeon. If you do have a significant tear thats in need of surgery, its better to catch it earlier than to let it wait. If it gets big enough, it can get to the point where it cant be fixed. You want to avoid getting to that point.