Rotator cuff tear

Treatment options

Your surgeon will discuss all options available; from physiotherapy to surgery. The right treatment for you will depend on many factors including your age and functional requirements. Surgery may help you achieve more but in many cases is not absolutely necessary.


It may be possible to avoid surgery and physiotherapy/rehabilitation can achieve a good result with mobility returning to the shoulder.

Minimally invasive methods (arthroscopy)

Our specialists will describe the various surgical options to you including the use of minimally invasive methods (arthroscopy). This allows our surgeons to take a look into the joint and repair the tendon where possible. The size of the tear, the quality of the tendon and your age are factors which will help to determine whether it can be repaired. The repair can usually be carried out at this time.

There are situations where your surgeon may be able to repair a bigger tear by using an open technique. Sometimes an artificial tendon replacement can be used and occasionally a muscle-tendon transfer can be used as a mechanical replacement. As a final option there is a role for a reverse geometry shoulder replacement. Your surgeon will discuss all of these options with you prior to any procedure.

Conservative treatment methods

  • Physiotherapy

Surgical treatment methods

  • Minimally invasive methods (arthroscopy)