27 September 2019,

what to expect 6 weeks after rotator cuff surgery

Rotator cuff injuries can cause symptoms such as pain, weakness and reduced range of motion in the shoulder joint. While athletes and those who perform overhead motions for work are more susceptible to rotator cuff issues, they can affect anyone. Fortunately, there are advanced treatment options available for rotator cuff problems. While most rotator cuff injuries can be treated conservatively, surgical repair may be considered if a tear is severe or if symptoms stick around. Knowing what to expect 6 weeks after rotator cuff surgery and beyond will help you decide whether this procedure is right for you.

What to Expect 6 Weeks After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Every patient’s recovery process will be slightly different depending on their age, their body’s natural healing rate and the severity of their rotator cuff injury. However, there are some things patients can reasonably anticipate in terms of their rehabilitation timeline. Generally speaking, here’s what to expect 6 weeks after rotator cuff surgery:

  • – Sling removalOn the day of rotator cuff surgery, your operated arm will be placed in a sling. Typically, patients are able to remove their sling about 4-6 weeks after surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will tell you when it is time to do so.
  • – Physical therapy to increase range of motion – For the first 4-6 weeks following surgery, you will be instructed to limit your use of your operated arm to prevent inflammation and scar tissue buildup. Around the six-week mark, you will begin performing physical therapy exercises. These are designed to help improve range of motion in your shoulder joint. Your physical therapist will ease you into this by having you first perform passive motion before working your way up to active motion, or moving your arm on your own. At this point, you will most likely still be advised to avoid lifting heavy objects or placing too much weight on your arm.


This is a short summary of what to expect 6 weeks after rotator cuff surgery. You can find a full timeline detailing what you can anticipate at every stage of the recovery period on our blog.

See Dr. Soffer for Compassionate, World-Class Shoulder Care

Are you tired of living with shoulder discomfort? Experienced orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Soffer can help you manage your shoulder injury or condition so that you can resume the activities you love with no more pain. Specializing in minimally invasive arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and other cutting-edge treatments, Dr. Soffer will provide you with individualized care of the highest possible standard.

If you are interested in exploring your shoulder treatment options with Dr. Soffer, please call our office at 610-375-4949 to arrange an appointment. We look forward to providing you with superior orthopedic care and helping you find a solution to your shoulder issue.

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