Health blog

How long will I have pain after my rotator cuff surgery?

December 4th, 2020
how long will i have pain after rotator cuff surgery

Your rotator cuffs are vital to your ability to use your shoulders and arms for a wide range of activities. Each rotator cuff is a group of muscles and soft tissue that help hold the shoulder joints together and power the joint for its wide range of motion. 

When the rotator cuff gets hurt, physical therapy can help manage the pain and help you recover and regain the use of your arm. However, in some circumstances, the injury or condition affecting your shoulder is too severe for physical therapy alone, meaning surgery is required. 

However, even if you need surgery for your rotator cuff injury, you can still benefit from physical therapy.

How long will I have pain after rotator cuff surgery?

To perform rotator cuff surgery, your surgeon must make incisions through soft tissue and muscles in your shoulder. These incisions are the primary reason you are in pain after your procedure. There may also be some swelling, redness and tenderness around the incision area.

Pain is subjective and no one can tell you exactly how long you will be in pain after your surgery, but what you can rely on is the fact that there will be some amount of pain for at least a few days. To help manage the pain and recover at a more efficient rate, you need to follow your physician’s instructions and visit a physical therapist for rehabilitation.

It can take a few months to regain the complete use of your arm after your surgery. However, without physical therapy to help the damaged muscles and soft tissue rehabilitate, your shoulder may not recover correctly, leading to prolonged soreness and stiffness in your rotator cuff.

Physical therapists can examine your shoulder before and after your surgery to get an idea of what you will need for optimal recovery. They will guide you through the recovery process, helping you adjust along the way as you progress. 

Physical therapy treatments for post-operative shoulder pain vary from person to person depending on individual circumstances, but you can generally expect:

  • Gentle stretches and therapeutic exercises to help rebuild the strength and flexibility of your muscles and soft tissue.
  • Posture guidance for sitting, standing and sleeping with less pain.
  • Hands-on therapy to help reduce tension and break up scar tissue.

Visit Rehab Access for post-surgical rehabilitation

Are you having rotator cuff surgery soon or have you recently had an operation? Our physical therapists at Rehab Access can help you in your recovery journey. Contact our team today for more information about treating pain after rotator cuff surgery or to schedule an initial appointment.