Question - Rotator Cuff Injury (pain for how long)

Could the pain ease up in a few days after you have had extreme pain in your shoulder from a torn rotator cuff?

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Jul 04, 2008
I can only share my own experience
by: Anonymous

For me, my pain only worsened as did my loss of range of motion and adverse effects of the most simplest of tasks in my everyday life. The cortisone shot from the doctor helped, but only reduced it, not eliminated it. The physical therapy helped even more, but again, it was always with me. Instead of a 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10, it was a 2. Of course, at that time I wasn't doing any of my normal workouts. Once I started those again, the pain increased to a 3-4 again.

It became too limiting for me so I elected to have the surgery. It was the best thing I could have done for my shoulder and myself. But everyone's injury is different. My surgeon wanted to exhaust other treatments prior to putting me through the surgery. That process took 3 months to sort out. Once surgery was completed, I had another 12 weeks of physical therapy and now I do therapy on my own at home every day. Typically, it's a 4-6 month recovery, but my situation is unique in that I am also recovering from breast cancer, so they think it will take me a year. I've had some pain in shoulder for almost a year now, however, it is better than it ever has been, about a 1 on that scale of pain. And I believe if I continue the physical therapy, I will eventually have my shoulder as good as new. Right now, I have 95% of my range of motion, probably just 50% of my strength. But it's getting better every day. The key is to do the physical therapy no matter what. There are no quick fixes to a torn rotator cuff.

I just want to encourage you to stick with it. If this 50 year old woman with gastric bypass, breast cancer with surgery and reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy, rotator cuff surgery and now in a few weeks, surgery on my GI tract can do it, you can too. Anyone can! The best of luck to you.

Jul 07, 2008
Good advice...
by: Bart - SII

The above advice is a good perspective on rotator cuff injury - she has been through it before.

With that said, everyone is a little different. Usually, the pain will subside a little bit after the first few days/weeks. However, depending on the size of the tear, you may have continued pain, especially with overhead activities and reaching.

Some type of rehabilitation is beneficial, and most physicians will recommend trying rehab before considering surgery, unless the tear is very large.

So, hang in there, follow your doctors advice, and post here if you have questions.


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