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rotator cuff


Conservative options have been exhausted or a rotator cuff tear causing pain and limiting your activities have led you to proceed with a surgical option for your shoulder. Your surgeon will either perform a shoulder arthroscopy or an open incision procedure depending on the tear present. It is not uncommon to have a nerve block at the time of the surgery to ease post-operative pain. It is recommended you discuss this option with your surgeon and the anesthesiologist.


If a repair is not preformed and the area is debrided (“cleaned up”), you will typically be in a sling for a day and then will wean out of it as tolerated while attempting to restore your range of motion.


If a repair is performed, you will be in an immobilizer following surgery. This is to be worn for 4-6 weeks depending on your surgeon’s recommendations. During this time, you will be instructed on whether or not you may begin passive motion of the shoulder.  It is important to not move your shoulder actively (on it’s own) during this time of the healing process. Typically a post-operative appointment will be made 10-14 days following the procedure.


Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic surgeons have a page dedicated to pre-operative and post-operative instructions. Click here to discover recommendations per provider.


Start at the beginning of the series: Part 1, The Rotator Cuff Injury


Author: Amy M Roberts, MS ATC/L

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic