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Conservative (Nonsurgical) Treatments

In many instances, nonsurgical treatment can provide pain relief and can improve the function of the shoulder. Nonsurgical treatment options may include:

  • Ice applications keep down swelling
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, reduce pain
  • Rest the muscle and limit activity when there is pain or weakness
  • Flexibility and strengthening exercises will keep the shoulder mobile and strengthen the surrounding muscles

Surgical Treatments

Your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend surgery if:

  • Nonsurgical treatment does not relieve symptoms
  • The tear has just occurred and is very painful
  • The tear is in the shoulder of the dominant arm of an active person
  • If maximum strength in the arm is needed for overhead work or sports

Many surgical repairs can be done on an outpatient basis.

In general, the following three approaches are available for surgical repair. Please use the links provided to learn more.

Arthroscopic Repair Mini-Open Repair Open Surgical Repair