The treatment will depend on the extent of your injury, level of pain, and amount of immobility. The first step is usually a nonsurgical approach.
Nonsurgical approaches may include:
Rest to help the shoulder heal; an arm sling may be advised to help rest the shoulder area
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the pain and/or inflammation
Topical pain relievers, such as creams or patches, that are applied to the skin
Corticosteroid injections to help reduce pain and inflammation
Injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) to promote healing
Ice to help relieve pain and inflammation
Physical therapy to help strengthen and increase motion in the shoulder area
Acromioplasty is surgery on the bony structures that impinge the rotator cuff. Surgery can be arthroscopic or open.
A small instrument is inserted into the shoulder and used to remove bone spurs or degenerated portions of the rotator cuff tendons. Lesser tears can be repaired during arthroscopy as well.
Mini-Open Repair with Arthroscopy
This combines arthroscopy with an incision in the shoulder joint. Through the incision, larger tears in the tendons or muscles can be sutured.
This is used to repair the injured tendon or muscle in more severe cases. A tissue transfer or a tendon graft can be done during surgery if the tear is too large to be closed together. In the most severe cases, a joint replacement may be necessary.
Depending on the extent of your injury, full recovery can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months or longer.
To help reduce your chance a rotator cuff injury:
Avoid overhead repetitive motion.
Limit duration of work that involves:
Moving hands above shoulders
Using shoulder in extreme outward rotation
Avoid heavy lifting.
Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.