Rotator Cuff Repair
What are the treatment options for a torn rotator cuff?
When you suffer a torn rotator cuff, you have two treatment options: surgical and nonsurgical. Many doctors will attempt to treat a torn rotator cuff without surgery first, only resorting to surgery if nonsurgical means do not improve shoulder function.
What can I expect from nonsurgical rotator cuff treatment options?
Nonsurgical treatment for a torn rotator cuff may include:
- Lifestyle and activity modification
- Pain management or anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy exercises
About half of patients see major results without surgery, although this treatment path usually does not restore full shoulder strength. Additionally, the size of the tear may increase over time if it is not surgically repaired.
What can I expect from rotator cuff surgery?
Rotator cuff surgery is a treatment path taken by those who haven’t seen significant results after 6-12 months of nonsurgical treatment, or those who’ve suffered a very large tear.
The surgeon will attempt to reattach the rotator cuff tendon to the part of the bone where it tore off, either with metal or dissolvable material. This procedure can either be performed traditionally with a large incision, or guided by a small camera (arthroscopically).
What is the recovery time for a torn rotator cuff?
After surgery, the area may be immobilized with a sling for 4-6 weeks. Once you are able to move the area again, you will undergo physical therapy to regain strength and movement in the area. Full recovery can take up to six months.
Without surgery, you should see symptom improvement within six months to one year. As previously stated, most nonsurgical patients never fully recover the shoulder strength they had before the injury. Nonsurgical treatments are ultimately treating the symptoms, not the tear itself.
If you’ve been in a car accident in New Jersey and need treatment for a torn rotator cuff, please call us at 866-609-4448 or fill out our quick contact form for FREE consultation.