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Rotator Cuff Injury? Here Are Your Options

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Have you recently experienced a rotator cuff injury? If your answer is yes, you may be contemplating some big time decisions regarding your method of recovery. And trust me, it is a big decision because both of your options come with big risk and big reward. So, before you decide whether to go under the knife or stick it out in physical therapy and home remedies lets go over the facts so you are able to make a better, more sound decision about what you are about to undergo.

An injury to your rotator cuff can vary in levels of severity, so it is important to first understand where you are on that scale. That will first determine what the best method is for you. In some cases, your injury can be so severe that surgery is your only option. In that case, you can skip this article and head straight to the Operating Room – we will see you when you get out! And on the opposite side of the spectrum, your injury may not be severe, or even close to severe that surgery is considered. If that is you, you can stop reading this article and make an appointment for physical therapy. But, if you fall under the foggy zone of severity where you have options, keep your butt in the seat and continue reading.

All health care professions will have a different opinion on what the best method of recovery is for each individual. Some believe if you are over 60, non-surgical is the best method. And then there are some who believe immediate surgery after the injury gives you the best shot of a full recovery no matter your age. Just keep in mind, you need to do what is best for you, and only you. Everyone recovers differently.

And speaking of recovery – I’m briefly skipping ahead of methods of treatment - no matter which route your choose, keep in mind, rotator cuff injuries do not heal in hours, days or even weeks. Thinks months, years possibly. No magic button is going to heal your instantly. Besides testing your threshold for pain, this injury will test your level of patience. Without this key ingredient to recovery, you could find yourself even more injured if you do certain things with your shoulder that are ill-advised from your surgeon or physical therapist. So, no matter what route you chose to get to the finish line, nothing will heal without your utmost patience.

With that said, in Wednesday’s article we will go over the pro’s and con’s to both roads to recovery – surgery and non-surgery so you have all the tools to make the best decision for you.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Great points. Surgical repair offers the potential benefit of expeditious pain relief and cessates tear progression and secondary chronic changes. Improvements in surgical techniques allow the vast majority of rotator cuff tears to be addressed arthroscopically through minimally invasive techniques. Nonetheless, small risk of infection and stiffness after surgery exist.Thanks for sharing that information.
Natalia Chik

December 25, 2009 - 1:47pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Samara - While I've never had a rotator cuff injury, I have had an injury resulting in a frozen shoulder, and I have to agree with your call for patience. I has expected to recovery quickly, but it took months of treatment including physical therapy and medical interventions. I don't think we quite appreciate how much we use our arms and shoulders, or how complex they are, until they're injured. Thanks for this information, and I'm looking forward to your next articles on this topic.
Take good care,

December 7, 2009 - 5:55pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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