How long is physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery?

How Long Is Physical Therapy After Rotator Cuff Surgery

A rotator cuff tear sounds like it should send people scurrying to meet with their doctor, but you might be surprised to hear that many people have rotator cuff tears and don’t even know it. One medical study reports that 34% of the people surveyed had a rotator cuff tear but no symptoms. 

Tears that cause mild to moderate symptoms are often successfully treated with physical therapy and other nonsurgical treatments. Studies show that the success rate of physical therapy may be as high as 92%. Yet there are some people who may require surgery for their rotator cuff tear. These people may be wondering, how long is physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery going to take? A physical therapist can help you answer this important question. 

Just how long is physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery likely to take? 

There will be plenty of hurdles for you to get over once you have rotator cuff surgery. Shoulder pain will likely be one of them. Another common challenge is how long physical therapy and general recovery after rotator cuff surgery is likely to take. There are many steps that your physical therapist may take during your shoulder’s recovery process. Generally, these steps will fall into one of the four basic rotator cuff surgery recovery stages. These stages include: 

  1. Stage 1: Passive motion.

This stage lasts from immediately after your surgery to about six weeks after surgery. During this stage, your physical therapist will use their hands to move your arm and shoulder. This movement can help ease tension and pain, but it also keeps you from straining the healing rotator cuff muscles. 

  1. Stage 2: Active motion.

Recovery stage 2 typically lasts from six to 12 weeks following your surgery. Your physical therapist will encourage you to move your shoulder and arm on your own at this point. However, they will not apply any resistance during these movements. 

  1. Stage 3: Strengthening.

Stage 3 adds resistance to the active movements you did in stage 2. Your physical therapist may also introduce other strengthening techniques at this point. Typically, stage 3 of your recovery will last from about three months post-surgery to about four months post-surgery. 

  1. Stage 4: Return to full activity.

So, here is the final answer to the question, “How long is physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery likely to take?” It can take four to six months of physical therapy to return to full activity. 

Border TS can help you minimize how long physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery is going to take

Want to decrease how long physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery is going to take? That’s only natural. Our Border Therapy Services physical therapists are eager to help minimize your post-surgical recovery time. One way we can do so is by creating a personalized pre-surgical rehab plan for you. This plan will work with you before surgery to reduce pain and prepare your injured shoulder for surgery. Often, putting this work in before surgery helps reduce your post-surgical recovery time. In addition, our physical therapists can build you a customized post-surgical recovery plan that’s tailored to your specific needs and that can help you recover faster. 

Contact our team today for more information about our pre- and post-surgical rehab services or to schedule an initial appointment.