How long does it take to heal after rotator cuff surgery?

William R. Mook, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
After a rotator cuff surgery, most patients return to full activity somewhere between four to six months. Watch William Mook, MD, of Reston Hospital Center, explain more.
Kristofer J. Jones, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Total recovery from rotator cuff surgery can take up to about six months, but it will take about 12 months for you to feel completely happy with your outcome. While pain relief during recovery is predictable, function and range are not always as predictable. For example, people who are avid tennis players may never be able to do an overhead serve, even after full recovery. It's something doctors just can't guarantee. That said, most people do find they can return to their pre-injury activities after a full recovery.
William N. Levine, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
It takes rotator cuff repairs eight to 12 weeks to "heal" (the torn tendon has to reconnect to the bone). So the first three months are focused entirely on healing (first six weeks no motion often in larger tears; and then the next six weeks on slowly regaining motion). Then, the next three months are focused on strength and functional recovery. So by six months most patients are doing very well but we tell all patients who have rotator cuff surgery (especially those with large or massive tears) that they can continue to improve for up to 12 months after the operation.

Continue Learning about Rotator Cuff

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.