U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 31-year-old member asked:

Why do medical professionals claim that rotator cuff muscle injuries never heal?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vasu Brown
Integrative Medicine 35 years experience
Needs rx immediately: Without proper treatment, symptoms of a rotator cuff injury or tear can persist for months or years, and they usually become worse over time. Most rotator cuff injuries respond to treatment within four to six weeks, especially if an injection is part of the treatment.
Dr. David Feig
Dr. David Feig commented
Family Medicine 19 years experience
If there is a full thickness tear, there is no way for the 2 ends of the tendon to come back together naturally to heal. If there is a partial tear, "resting" the shoulder will cause the muscle to become weaker and make pain worse. Some injuries heal with rest, this is one that requires some kind of active intervention, whether its therapy or surgery.
Dec 7, 2014
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Luanswered
Orthopedic Surgery 25 years experience
Tears don't heal: The reason they tell you this is because an actual "tear" of the rotator cuff tendon cannot heal on its own. Once torn, the tendon remains torn. However, a rotator cuff injury usually represents an irritation or inflammation that inhibits normal function of the muscles. This can heal and return to normal. Many people feel perfectly fine, even with a persistent tear in the rotator cuff.

Related questions

A 30-year-old member asked:
Why do most rotator cuff injuries involve the suprasipatus muscle?
3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
A 43-year-old member asked:
Would muscle building exercises help prevent rotator cuff injuries?
1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
A 45-year-old member asked:
What exactly causes the stiffness from a rotator cuff injury? Muscle spasms?
2 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
A 31-year-old member asked:
What exactly causes the problems from a rotator cuff injury? Muscle weakness or damage?
3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Last updated Dec 18, 2018


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.