Tendinitis & Bursitis

Tendinitis and Bursitis

Inflammation in the shoulder & rotator cuff

Bursitis and tendinitis in the shoulder are two different conditions, both relating to inflammation in the shoulder. In many cases, the two conditions occur alongside each other.

Tendinitis occurs when tendons in the shoulder become inflamed and sore from being pinched by other shoulder parts. This often happens due to overuse.

Bursitis occurs when a similar thing happens to the bursa, the small fluid-filled sac that cushions and protects the shoulder joint. This may be caused by repeated overhead arm movements (such as those made by bowling overarm or in manual labour), and conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

What to expect after
tendinitis and bursitis surgery

Most patients remain in hospital overnight after their shoulder surgery, though same-day discharge may be possible depending on the procedure performed.

Immediately after surgery, you will be advised to keep your shoulder in a sling to reduce pain and let the surgical site rest. Frequently applying cold packs to the area will help reduce your pain and swelling, as well as taking over-the-counter painkillers. Your shoulder surgeon may also prescribe stronger pain relievers for early recovery.

Waiting for a tendon to heal can take a significant amount of time, though smaller procedures such as debridement carry far faster recovery times than larger tendon repairs. Similarly, recovering from bursectomy is far quicker than recovering from larger and more invasive procedures on the rotator cuff.

In most cases, you may resume regular activities with pain permitting around a week after surgery. You will be advised to adopt a physiotherapy regimen at this time to promote better healing and long-term results.

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 a week after surgery, after which you may begin to resume normal activities with respect to your pain levels.

Light, modified duties can be performed after your two-week follow-up with your surgeon at Adelaide Shoulder and Upper Limb Clinic. However, heavy lifting or activities that place stress on the shoulder should be avoided for a longer period to promote healing.

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.

Adelaide Orthopaedic surgeons at ASULC recommend waiting at least 3-5 days after your shoulder procedure before driving – to avoid disappointment, please discuss your individual situation and expected recovery milestones with your shoulder surgeon prior to your scheduled surgery.