Rehabilitation for inoperable rotator cuff tears

Rotator cuff tears are very common. The natural history of these tears is progression over time, with some tears developing tendon retraction and fatty inflitration of the muscle. When this occurs repairing the tendon may not be an option so alternative treatments may assist these irreparable tears. Physiotherapy and exercise can be very effective in treating symptoms in patients with atraumatic full thickness rotator cuff tears.

It is necessary to design a program of rehabilitation to improve shoulder function that incorporates patient education, posture correction, strengthening, stetching, proprioception and adaptation.

Strengthening other shoulder muscles can help to compensate for the tear in the cuff. This includes particular attention to deltoid and teres minor muscles. Home based exercises are an integral part of rehabilitation for inoperable cuff tears.

If you would like further information on management or treatment for this condition contact: Jan Naughton Sports Physiotherapy, Ph:02 94891246.

About the author:

Dr Jan Naughton received her PhD at Sydney University where she was lecturing in Sports Medicine and undergraduate physiotherapy. She specialises in shoulder injuries and has a sports phyiotherapy practice in Wahroonga on Sydney's upper north shore working with two other specialist colleagues.

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