If you have been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, then you may be wondering how long it will be before a torn cuff gets better. Basically, shoulder pain where the upper arm ball joint fits into the shoulder is symptomatic of a torn rotator cuff. Symptoms include pain and weakness in the arm and shoulder when pulling, reaching or stretching. The area may become tender when lain upon, and you may not have a full range of motion available to you.
Often, a torn cuff can be self-treated. In an estimated 50% of all cases, the torn cuff will get better with home remedies. In order to treat your torn rotator cuff at home, try the following steps. First, rest the shoulder so that your injury is spared any motion that might aggravate your pain and tenderness. Second, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen. Third, apply cold compresses which will reduce swelling. Be sure not to apply cold packs directly to bare skin.
For over-the-counter treatment, expect your torn rotator cuff to get better within a few weeks. However, if pain, tenderness, or an impaired range of motion persists, then consider seeing your doctor. Your personal physician will perform an examination and have X-rays, an MRI, or an ultrasound performed to determine if medical treatment is appropriate. Your doctor may recommend Physical Therapy to restore flexibility and strength, steroids to encourage muscle regeneration; surgery to correct the damaged or torn muscle, or arthroplasty to repair the joint.
Physical therapy and steroids may be given for weeks or even months. In the event of surgical treatment, then your recovery time will be dependent upon what operation is being performed. Be sure to follow your doctor's post-op instructions. Given proper care and treatment, your torn rotator cuff should get better with time.