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Ruptured Bicep Tendon and Rotator Cuff Tear – what is normal recovery time?


Dear TAI Experts:

I recently underwent surgery for a ruptured long head bicep tendon and full tear of the rotator cuff. What is the normal recovery time before I can return to work? I’m a healthy 58 year old male phy. fit. Thanks.


Sorry to hear about your shoulder. Without an examination I can’t comment on your shoulder specifically or give you and exact timeline for your rehab. Return to work after a major shoulder surgery obviously depends on what you do for work. Physical therapy is a very important aspect of rehab. Physical therapists are trained to maintain range of motion while patients are in a sling (which can help minimize complications such as a frozen shoulder), strengthen the rotator cuff and supporting shoulder muscles after immobilization, improve coordination, and help make body mechanics and ergonomic recommendations to minimize stress to the rotator cuff at home and at work. After a rotator cuff repair most patients are in a sling to protect the repair for usually 6 weeks, plus or minus a week or two. It often takes 3-6+ months to gain the strength needed to safely lift heavy objects or return to sports such as golf or throwing motions. I would recommend speaking with your surgeon and your physical therapist about a projected timeline for your recovery.

Valerie Hilton, PT, MS

Ruptured Bicep Tendon and Rotator Cuff Tear – what is normal recovery time?


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