Often asked: Partial Rotator Cuff Tears: When Is Surgery Indicated Orthopedics Today, May 2010?

Is surgery required for partial rotator cuff tear?

Generally, partial tears of the rotator cuff are treated without surgery. The treatment is focused on maintaining the range of motion and preventing the shoulder from becoming stiff.

When is surgery needed for rotator cuff tear?

At what point does a rotator cuff tear require surgery to fix it? Surgery is recommended if you have persistent pain or weakness in your shoulder that does not improve with nonsurgical treatment. Frequently, patients who require surgery will report pain at night and difficulty using the arm for lifting and reaching.

Does a partial thickness tear require surgery?

Most partial thickness tears are a normal part of the aging process and do not need surgery. If more conservative treatments are not working to relieve your symptoms, then surgery may be appropriate.

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Do partial thickness tears of the rotator cuff need to be repaired?

Partial – thickness rotator cuff tears are common shoulder injuries in baseball players. For some tears, the symptoms can be relieved through physical therapy or debridement without rotator cuff repair.

How long does it take for a partial rotator cuff tear to heal?

This healing process takes 12 weeks, so the patient must protect the arm while the tendon is healing. Any lifting or reaching with the arm could pull the tendon through the sutures, meaning the repair will not heal. After the tendon heals, the patient can start a physical therapy strengthening program.

What happens if you don’t fix a torn rotator cuff?

Without any treatment—either rest and rehabilitation or surgery— rotator cuff disorders may get worse. Over time, you may have more pain. You may lose range of motion and strength in your shoulder, making it harder to do your daily activities.

Does a torn rotator cuff hurt all the time?

Rotator cuff tendon tears often cause pain at night. The pain may even wake you. During the day, the pain is more tolerable, and usually only hurts with certain movements, such as overhead or reaching toward the back. Over time, the symptoms become much worse, and are not relieved by medicines, rest, or exercise.

Why is rotator cuff pain worse at night?

Rotator Cuff Injuries. It causes swelling and pain in the shoulder that can worsen at night because your position in bed – especially if you lay on your side – can further irritate and inflame the damaged muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff.

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Is rotator cuff surgery worth having?

Many tears occur in people who don’t feel the painful symptoms usually associated with a tear. In such cases, is rotator cuff surgery worth it? Well, the answer is “no.” There’s no need to do surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff.

Can a partial tear of the supraspinatus tendon heal itself?

In this study, 24 patients who had full thickness supraspinatus tears and who opted to forego surgery were tracked over time. In 2 of the 24 patients, the rotator cuff tear completely healed on its own. In 9 of the 24 the tear was smaller.

How do you fix a partial rotator cuff tear?

Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff most often involves re-attaching the tendon to the head of humerus (upper arm bone). A partial tear, however, may need only a trimming or smoothing procedure called a debridement. A complete tear is repaired by stitching the tendon back to its original site on the humerus.

Can you fix a torn rotator cuff without surgery?

Yes, you can heal a torn rotator cuff without surgery.

What should I avoid with a supraspinatus tear?

Avoid any extreme ranges of motion in your shoulders. Exercises like behind-the-neck shoulder presses, upright rows, or any exercises that require you to use your upper arms behind your torso. When attempting any exercises with an injured shoulder, make sure you keep your range of motion limited to what’s comfortable.

Will a cortisone shot help a torn rotator cuff?

How are rotator cuff pain or tears treated? Non-Operative: Early treatment of rotator cuff disorders may include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, or a cortisone injection into your shoulder. These might completely resolve your symptoms.

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