Rotator cuff repair surgery is done to fix a tear in the rotator cuff. It can also include cleaning the space between the rotator cuff tendons and the shoulder blade. This is called subacromial smoothing.
You will feel tired for several days. Your shoulder will be swollen, and you may notice that your skin is a different colour near the cut (incision). Your hand and arm may also be swollen. This is normal and will start to get better in a few days.
It will be several months before you have complete use of your shoulder and arm. Once you have healed from surgery, you will need to build your strength and the motion of your joint with rehabilitation (rehab) exercises. In time, your shoulder will likely be stronger, less painful, and more flexible than it was before the surgery.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter S865 in the search box to learn more about "Rotator Cuff Repair: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.