When Not to Have Rotator Cuff Surgery
So, when I’m counseling patients and having discussions with them regarding their rotator cuff tears in the clinic, we always go through the imaging, show you the tear, discuss what treatment options are available.
As I have mentioned in the past in other videos and other topics and discussions, rotator cuff tears are a challenging thing to address for a lot of patients. They cause a lot of pain and a lot of dysfunction.
So, this question of whether or not someone should have their rotator cuff fixed is really reserved to those patients who aren’t healthy. Maybe they have a very low demand lifestyle and they’re just not a great surgical candidate. Pretty much everyone else who has a rotator cuff tear is at some point in time, going to come in and really kind of push the envelope themselves and say, hey, I really want to get more aggressive in my treatment because I can’t do this hobby or I can’t perform this activity at work or I’m having trouble sleeping.
Rotator cuff tears are just something that overall tend to cause problems for a lot of people. And really, the conservative treatment options work for a time but eventually, those patients will go on to progress to surgery. And so, non-surgical management is really reserved for people who are either really poor surgical candidates because of their age or their health or for those patients who really aren’t having any pain.
It’s a very narrow window, but there is kind of a small segment of people out there that I would recommend just kind of conservative treatment and not recommend surgical intervention.