Care for Massive RTC Tears

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Massive rotator cuff tears (RTC) can cause significant pain in the shoulder area. They are no more than 5cm in size. If left untreated, the pain will continue to last. Depending on the severity of the tear, surgery may be required. If you live near Smithtown or Oceanside, The Physical Therapy Experience will provide treatment for rotator cuff tears.

Massive RTC tears usually occur when two of the four rotator cuff muscles are torn. RTC tears mostly occur in aging adults with failure or wear in the rotator cuff muscles. A massive RTC tear should be treated as soon as possible.

Treatments include:

First, the patient should rest to see if the inflammation of the tear reduces. It is important to move the shoulder every once in awhile to prevent immobilization of the shoulder. Second, the patient should attend physical therapy, since it is an effective treatment option for RTC tears. Physical therapy includes doing small shoulder exercises to prevent stiff shoulders and to strengthen the shoulder.

The third step for treating a RTC tear is for the patient to take medication to relieve the pain. Taking anti-inflammatory medication should help reduce the pain and swelling of the shoulder. Patients are recommended to take one anti-inflammatory medication before taking multiple. The fourth treatment for a RTC tear is cortisone injections. The shot treats and reduces the inflammation.

Surgery is recommended if the pain continues or gets worse. According to, surgical repairs for massive RTC tears is different than smaller tears. It is not as successful because if there is more fat than muscle, the tear will not recover properly. Even if the tear is fixed, it may not fully function. The patient should consider doing non-surgical treatments before deciding to get surgery.          

Massive RTC tears are very common in adults over the age of 60. The above procedures will help the patient treat their tear with ease. Surgery should be the last option for treating RTC tears because most tears can be treated without surgical procedure.  

If you would like physical therapy treatment, check out The Physical Therapy Experience locations in Smithtown or Oceanside. Our experienced physical therapists can help you improve your bodily condition for a more safe and effective recover. Contact us today!


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