In general, the recovery from a rotator cuff surgery is about 3 months. In general, I see patients a week after surgery. I check their wounds, show them the pictures from surgery, show them what I did, and then get them going with physical therapy right away. I think it’s very important to get the shoulder mobilized. Now there are certain restrictions with your activities. For instance, if you have the supraspinatus tendon repaired, which is the most commonly torn rotator cuff tendon, there are restrictions and you can’t bring your arm up over your head actively for about 6 weeks. The therapist works with you on getting your shoulder moving to prevent stiffness. At around the 6-week point, for my patients, I allow them to start moving their shoulder freely without restrictions. Generally at the 3 month point, patients are able to bring their arms up over their head and they’re able to sleep again at night without pain, their strength has improved, and their pain is (for the most part) resolved.
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