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What is recovery like after surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff?

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After surgery, you�ll wear a sling for four to six weeks. Your doctor probably will tell you to do the following to speed along your recovery:

�Take the sling off several times a day and move your elbow, wrist, and hand to get better blood flow in those areas.

�If you have pain and swelling in your shoulder, use an ice pack for about 20 minutes at a time.

�Most important: Do not lift your arm at the shoulder until your doctor says it�s okay.

How your recovery goes will depend a lot on the size of the tear and how long your rotator cuff was torn.

SOURCES:

Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center: “Comparative Effectiveness of Nonoperative and Operative Treatments for Rotator Cuff Tears.”

Massachusetts General Hospital, Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine: “Shoulder -- Torn Rotator Cuff.”

American Society for Surgery of the Hand: “Rotator Cuff Injuries.”

OrthoInfo: “Rotator Cuff Tears.”

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on August 11, 2020

SOURCES:

Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center: “Comparative Effectiveness of Nonoperative and Operative Treatments for Rotator Cuff Tears.”

Massachusetts General Hospital, Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine: “Shoulder -- Torn Rotator Cuff.”

American Society for Surgery of the Hand: “Rotator Cuff Injuries.”

OrthoInfo: “Rotator Cuff Tears.”

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on August 11, 2020

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