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Sometimes impingement or small tears get better on their own with the help of anti-inflammatory painkillers and a change in the activity that may have caused them. A steroid and local anaesthetic injection into your shoulder can sometime reduce pain. However if you have a large tear or your symptoms continue to get worse surgery may be your only option.

What happens during rotator cuff repair surgery?

Shoulder surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The procedure can be done arthroscopically (key hole surgery) using several very small incisions or (for larger tears) one open incision. Your surgeon will remove loose fragments from the area. They will ensure there is no impingement which might include shaving the bone or removing any bone spurs. After stitching the tear they will reattach the tendons to your upper arm. Be sure and discuss what procedure will be used with your consultant.

After your rotator cuff repair

Immediately after your surgery you will be taken to the recovery area. Staff will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. If you are in any pain be sure and tell the recovery room staff. When you are stable a nurse will take you to your room. Your arm will be in a sling.

Back in your room

Once back in your room, our nursing team will continue to check on you to make sure you are recovering well. After you have recovered from any effects of the anaesthetic, you can have something to eat and drink. Be sure and tell us if you are in any pain.

Our Healthcare Team will help you get out of bed and begin to move around. A physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help you regain strength and flexibility.

Going home after rotator cuff repair

If you have arthroscopic surgery you may be able to go home the same day of the procedure. Patients who have open surgery may need to spend one night in hospital. You will be given medication to control any post surgery pain. Any stitches or staples will be removed 10 - 14 days after your operation.

You should continue to do the passive exercises as instructed by the physiotherapist until your followup appointment with your surgeon. Six to eight weeks after your surgery you may be given more active exercises and stretches. You should not engage in any strenuous exercise or activity without checking with your surgeon or physiotherapist. 

Be sure and discuss your return to work with your surgeon. 

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following rotator cuff repair. As with any surgery there can be complications:

Specific complications of rotator cuff repair:
  • Continued stiffness and restricted movement
  • Damage to the tendons or muscles
  • Tendons tear again fail to heal
  • Nerve damage.
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
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Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY

01242 246 552
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

Enquiries 0300 1311419
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

Enquiries 0300 1311416
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
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Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Woking  

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

Switchboard 01483 227800
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 793 269
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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