Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common types of shoulder injuries. In case you aren’t familiar with this condition, we’re here to give you some details on how this injury can happen. We’ll talk about symptoms, non-surgical and surgical treatment options, and torn rotator cuff surgery recovery time.
How & Why the Injury Occurs
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder that helps to stabilize the joint and make lifting and rotating motions possible. This structure can tear over time with a sport such as baseball or tennis. A tear can also occur suddenly as a result of falling or lifting a heavy object. However, rotator cuff tears can also occur without any trauma as part of the aging process.
A torn rotator cuff usually causes pain and/or weakness in the shoulder, inability to lift things as usual, and/or a clicking or popping sensation when the arm is moved. Symptoms may come on all at once or worsen over time, depending on the cause of the tear.
Most rotator cuff tears can be treated non-surgically with physical therapy, rest and medication. However, surgery may be required if the tear is complete or does not respond well to first-line treatments. There are three different kinds of surgery that can be used to repair a torn rotator cuff: arthroscopic, open, and mini-open (a combination of the first two types). Dr. Soffer specializes in arthroscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive. Your specific injury will determine the right choice for you.
Torn Rotator Cuff Surgery Recovery Time
If you undergo surgery, your recovery time will depend on the size of your rotator cuff tear, how long you had it, and what type of surgery was used to repair it. Generally speaking, you can expect torn rotator cuff surgery recovery time to be somewhere between six months and a year. You’ll be instructed to wear a sling during the first 4-6 weeks after surgery. After this, you’ll gradually start using your arm again to get it back to full functionality.
If left untreated, rotator cuff tears can lead to more serious problems that are more difficult to treat, such as arthritis or frozen shoulder. An untreated tear could also lead to a shoulder replacement. Since rotator cuff tears are very common, it’s a good idea to know the basics about them, including the hallmark signs of this shoulder injury and what to expect in terms of torn rotator cuff surgery recovery time.
Discuss Your Shoulder Care Options with Dr. Soffer
If you suspect that you may have a torn rotator cuff, you’ll want to meet with a qualified orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Stephen R. Soffer. As a shoulder specialist, Dr. Soffer will diagnose your issue and offer you the most advanced treatment options.
To set up an appointment, call our office at 610-375-4949. We look forward to offering you the personalized care you need to recover from your injury.