The vast majority of people return to golf after rotator cuff surgery. How soon you return to playing golf after rotator cuff surgery to a large extent depends on the severity of the rotator cuff tear, the quality of the tissue available to perform the repair, and your overall health.
The rotator cuff consists of a group of 4 muscles and their tendons which surround and stabilize the shoulder. Injury to the rotator cuff can result in shoulder weakness and pain that can make it very difficult to swing a golf club.
Rotator cuff surgery can be performed arthroscopically through a couple of keyhole incisions in the shoulder. Specialized instruments are inserted through these incisions to reattach the tendon to bone. After surgery, the arm is placed in a sling until the healing process is complete which usually takes about 6 weeks. The sling helps prevents the reattached tendon from getting torn once again because of stresses generated by the weight of the arm pulling on the shoulder tendons.
Physical therapy is essential to achieve maximum mobility and function after surgery. Range of motion begins immediately for small tears or is delayed until 6 weeks for very large tears. About 3 months after surgery you may begin strengthening exercises and slowly progress to sportspecific training. As a general guideline, putting is allowed 3 months after surgery, chipping is allowed 4 months after surgery, and a full swing is allowed 6 months after surgery.
If left untreated, a rotator cuff tear may worsen such that even routine activities of daily living may cause pain and loss of mobility. With rotator cuff surgery, most patients experience significant pain relief and return to golf.
Dr. Patrick Denard has been voted one of the top 20 Shoulder Surgeons in North America, and is the most widely published shoulder specialist in Oregon. For all appointments and inquiries, please call : (541) 608-2595.