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Non-Surgical Treatments

Avatar Dr. Kyle Bickel Jun 21, 2019

Other things that can be used in conjunction with shoulder rotator cuff repairs are things like patches. Patches have only been around the last decade or so, but these involve using things like cadaver skin to reinforce the repair. This is used in patients whose repairs are not strong and there’s a worry that they’re going to retear. Patches can be done arthroscopically or through an open incision, and the recovery time is typically a little bit longer just based on the size of the tear. For patients that have larger tears in their shoulder a strong recommendation is made to consider the surgery. What we know about rotator cuff muscles is that the larger they become torn, the more symptomatic people become, and the longer that it’s torn, the less likely of a chance that it can be fixed. If left untreated for many years, patients typically develop more pain and more dysfunction in reaching over their head, and if it becomes severe enough, a lot of times their only option is to consider a reverse shoulder replacement.

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