A rotator cuff injury is a common condition that affects the shoulder joint, but not everyone with this diagnosis requires surgical treatment. The key to optimizing shoulder joint function is to know when a rotator cuff injury will heal with conservative therapy or nonsurgical treatment and when to undergo shoulder surgery. You may need to consider rotator cuff surgery based on the following factors:
- Unresponsiveness to conservative treatment: Non-surgical treatments such as pain medications, injections, activity modification, and physical therapy fail to offer symptomatic relief.
- Shoulder pain interferes with routine activities: The shoulder pain caused by the rotator cuff injury is constant and the degree of severity is such that you have difficulty lifting lightweight objects or getting dressed up, and the pain interferes with sleep.
- Expectations of the patient: A person with a rotator cuff injury in the non-dominant arm who has a sedentary lifestyle may not need surgery. On the other hand, rotator cuff surgery would be a good option for younger patients who are active or laborers.
- The severity of the rotator cuff tear: Rest and conservative treatment may be all that you require for small rotator cuff tears to heal. But large tears may need to be treated surgically as soon as possible because the rotator cuff tendon may retract leading to irreversible muscle weakness and disability.
If you have shoulder pain and loss of function due to a rotator cuff injury that is affecting your quality of life, visit specialist Dr. Ronak Patel for an in-depth evaluation and to discuss all possible treatment options ideally suited for your specific type of injury.
Dr. Ronak Patel is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon offering a full range of care for all problems of the knee and shoulder with a special interest in complex knee disorders. Book your appointment with Dr. Patel today: (630) 929-2249.