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Rotator Cuff Disorders

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It is important to give treatment time to work. It may take from a couple of weeks to several months to get good results.

If other treatments don't help, your doctor may give you shots of steroid medicine in the shoulder. The shots probably don't cure rotator cuff disorders. But they can help relieve pain and inflammation so you are able to do exercises to strengthen the shoulder. The shots may also help your doctor find out if your shoulder pain is from your rotator cuff. If a steroid shot near the rotator cuff relieves your pain, even if the pain comes back later, it means the rotator cuff—not some other shoulder problem—is causing the pain.

Most rotator cuff disorders aren't treated with surgery. But doctors may do surgery if a rotator cuff tendon is torn or if several months of other treatments have not helped.

  • Surgery may be a good choice if you are young and your rotator cuff has been in good shape. Surgery may not work as well if your tendons are weak and frayed.
  • Surgery is not a substitute for physical therapy. Even after surgery, you may need months of physical therapy to have a full recovery.

Learning about rotator cuff disorders:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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