Rotator Cuff Disorders (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Medicines don't heal rotator cuff disorders. They help with pain and inflammation. This allows you to start exercises to stretch and gradually strengthen the shoulder, which reduces the risk of stiffness or a frozen shoulder.
Surgery may be considered if:
Surgery typically is used to repair a torn rotator cuff in a healthy young person, because good results are more likely if there is little or no evidence of other problems. People who have advanced rotator cuff disorders and tendons that are tough, stringy (fibrous), and stiff usually respond less well to surgery. Surgery may successfully repair the tear, but it can't repair all the damage caused by age or degeneration.
If surgery isn't done right away, repair of a large tear may not be as successful. But it still usually relieves pain and restores enough strength for you to do routine, nonstrenuous activities.
After surgery, a program of physical rehabilitation (rehab) is very important. You may not do as well after surgery if you aren't willing or able to commit to completing a difficult physical rehab program.
Shoulder surgery for rotator cuff disorders usually involves one or more of the following:
These procedures may be done arthroscopically, by traditional open surgery, or by a combination of the two approaches.
Sometimes a rotator cuff tear is so severe that it can't be fixed in the usual ways. If this happens in a younger person, the doctor may suggest moving another tendon to substitute for the torn tendon. In an older person, the doctor may suggest a special shoulder replacement.
What to think about
The success of surgery for rotator cuff tears depends on many things, such as:
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