Rotator Cuff Disease

Rotator Cuff Disease

Tendinitis and bursitis treatment with orthopaedic shoulder surgeons in Adelaide.

When there is pain and inflammation of the shoulder tendons from being pinched by other shoulder parts, it is known as rotator cuff tendinitis.

Rotator cuff bursitis is caused by overuse of the shoulder during sports or manual labour which requires overhead reaching as well as rheumatoid arthritis. It causes the small fluid-filled sac that helps protect the shoulder joint, known as the bursa to become inflamed.

Often tendinitis and bursitis can occur at the same time.

What to expect after
rotator cuff surgery

Patients will usually be in the hospital for no longer than one day. Some patients are discharged on the same day, depending on the type of surgery they have had. Immediately after surgery, you will be advised to keep your shoulder pain a sling to protect the repaired tendon. The frequent application of cold packs to the area will help reduce your pain and swelling. The doctors at the Adelaide Shoulder and Upper Limb Clinic will prescribe pain medication according to your needs.

Waiting for the tendon to heal can take a significant amount of time. During the first 6-12 weeks of your recovery, you will only be able to perform a modified range of motion with your healing arm. Lifting or pushing heavy objects is not recommended, as the strain on your joint may cause your internal sutures to tear and/or the repair to fail before the tendon has healed.

After approximately 8 weeks, you will begin to perform strengthening exercises and physical therapy. Completing a shoulder rehabilitation program supervised by a trained physiotherapist is crucial for your full recovery.

Recovery Timeline
for Rotator Cuff Surgery

0 - 1 Days
2 - 8 Weeks
Arm in Sling
6 - 12 Weeks
Limited motion and restricted activity
3+ Months
Return to regular activity when advised by your surgeon

Returning to work after Rotator Cuff Surgery

You need to discuss a return to work plan with your employer prior to your surgery. Your arm will be in a sling for approximately 2 weeks after surgery (this is highly variable and may be up to 8 weeks in some cases).

Light, modified duties can be performed after your two-week follow-up with your doctor. However, heavy lifting or activities that place stress on the shoulder should be avoided for at least 3 months.

Driving After Rotator Cuff Surgery

An orthopaedic surgeon who will give the best care possible.

It is normal to want to get back into your usual routine as soon as possible after surgery. However, it is important to wait until you are safely able to drive before returning to driving after rotator cuff surgery. Your own post surgery wellbeing, as well as the safety of others on the road, could be at risk if you choose to drive too soon.

The Adelaide Shoulder and Upper Limb Clinic's recommendations on this page are a rough guide to driving after rotator cuff surgery. Use this guide for reference only. To avoid disappointment, please discuss your individual situation and expected recovery milestones with your specialist prior to your scheduled surgery.