How does a Rotator Cuff Tear occur, and how is it treated?

  • August 27, 2020
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
Rotator Cuff Tear | Dr Jason Ward | Orthopaedic Surgeon

How does a Rotator Cuff Tear occur, and how is it treated?

There are usually two presentations of a Rotator Cuff Tear.  There is a traumatic tear, where a patient might have had a fall, injured their shoulder and require immediate attention.  The second presentation of a Rotator Cuff Tear is the more common form; this is typically from wear-and-tear. The patient might start to suffer from pain in the shoulder or upper part of the arm, and these symptoms may be intermittent or more constant.

Two out of three patients presenting with these symptoms will normally improve with a Physiotherapy-guided exercise program.  Dr Ward will attend to those patients who aren’t seeing any improvement from their Physio program.

Of the patients who opt for surgery, a large majority will enjoy relief from their symptoms and will regain function of their shoulder.

Surgery is likely to be keyhole surgery, and the patient will spend the night in hospital. While recovering from the surgery, the patient will see the Physiotherapist, and a rehabilitation program will be discussed.

After surgery, the patient’s arm will be in a sling for 4-6 weeks, and in most cases should see recovery after 4-5 months. By the 6-month mark, 90% of patients would have recovered from the surgery.  Some patients might need additional Physiotherapy to aid recovery.


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