11 doctors weighed in:

Can a torn rotator cuff ( 1.2 CM ) be treated with physical therapy and anti inflammatory rx?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Shybut
Sports Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes, sometimes

Some rotator cuff tears will symptomatically improve with physical therapy, nsaids, +/- corticosteroid injection; therefore non-operative treatment should be tried first (unless your tear was traumatic or there is other specific reason in your case to operate sooner).
Cuff tears generally do not heal on their own so if non-op tx (pt, nsaids, etc) fails (symptoms persist), consider surgery.

In brief: Yes, sometimes

Some rotator cuff tears will symptomatically improve with physical therapy, nsaids, +/- corticosteroid injection; therefore non-operative treatment should be tried first (unless your tear was traumatic or there is other specific reason in your case to operate sooner).
Cuff tears generally do not heal on their own so if non-op tx (pt, nsaids, etc) fails (symptoms persist), consider surgery.
Dr. Theodore Shybut
Dr. Theodore Shybut
Thank
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Worth a try....

I've found that MRI findings and degree of pathology can be misleading, and look worse than the clinical picture (how much pain and disability you are actually having).
So, would recommend conservative measures: heat when at rest, ice after excess using the shoulder, anti-inflammatory therapy under a physician's guidance, and yes, physical therapy. If remains a problematic shoulder, surgical rx.

In brief: Worth a try....

I've found that MRI findings and degree of pathology can be misleading, and look worse than the clinical picture (how much pain and disability you are actually having).
So, would recommend conservative measures: heat when at rest, ice after excess using the shoulder, anti-inflammatory therapy under a physician's guidance, and yes, physical therapy. If remains a problematic shoulder, surgical rx.
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Thank
Dr. Shawn Hennigan
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: Rotator cuff tear

A torn rotator cuff tendon (tendon insertion detached from upper humerus) cannot heal by itself.
People may choose to live with a rotator cuff tear, however very active individuals may still experience pain with activity. Sometimes pain may continue at rest, especially sleep. When this occurs, surgery is recomended. Non-operative treatment consists of nsaids and physical therapy. Good luck!

In brief: Rotator cuff tear

A torn rotator cuff tendon (tendon insertion detached from upper humerus) cannot heal by itself.
People may choose to live with a rotator cuff tear, however very active individuals may still experience pain with activity. Sometimes pain may continue at rest, especially sleep. When this occurs, surgery is recomended. Non-operative treatment consists of nsaids and physical therapy. Good luck!
Dr. Shawn Hennigan
Dr. Shawn Hennigan
Thank
Dr. Robert Coats II
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not full thickness

If the 1.2 cm tear in your rotator cuff goes all the way through the tendon, then non-operative treatment is unlikely to completely resolve your symptoms.
The rotator cuff helps to move the shoulder joint and when it becomes torn from the bone, it's function is compromised. Full-thickness rotator cuff tears do not heal on there own and small tears progress to large years over time. Get it fixed!

In brief: Not full thickness

If the 1.2 cm tear in your rotator cuff goes all the way through the tendon, then non-operative treatment is unlikely to completely resolve your symptoms.
The rotator cuff helps to move the shoulder joint and when it becomes torn from the bone, it's function is compromised. Full-thickness rotator cuff tears do not heal on there own and small tears progress to large years over time. Get it fixed!
Dr. Robert Coats II
Dr. Robert Coats II
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Warren Strudwick
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
26 years in practice
491K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors