Welcome Hand Specialist Nicholas Foeger, MD, PhD

Frequently Asked Questions about the Rotator cuff:

Aug 22, 2019

Ty E. Richardson, M.D.

1. What causes a bone spur?

The shape of the bone spur is congenital, meaning that it simply grew that way and nothing that the patient did caused the spur to grow. Overuse and chronic inflammation can cause calcifications of the ligament that attaches to the acromion, which can appear to enlarge the spur, but not change the shape of the acromion.

2. Do rotator cuff tears heal on their own?

In a word, no. The tendons of the rotator cuff have a very scant blood supply and the tissue is under tension. This creates a very poor environment for healing and tears of the cuff do not heal, but tend to slowly enlarge over time.

3. How long will I be out following surgery?

That depends on the degree of damage to the cuff. If the cuff is intact and the bone spur is simply removed, a procedure called decompression can be performed. Most people are back to regular activity around 4 weeks following surgery. Complete tears of the cuff that require repair take much longer to heal. Tissue healing takes around 6 weeks and another 6 weeks of rehab to restore strength and motion giving a healing time of about 3 months before any significant lifting is allowed. Individual results vary, of course, but these are good general guidelines.

4. If I don’t get it fixed, what will happen?

Most tears get slowly larger over time as discussed above. Many individuals are able to function very well and have little pain with tears of the cuff and do not desire to undergo surgery. I usually do not recommend surgery unless pain is significantly affecting quality of life and conservative treatments are not effective. However, putting off treatment of an established (MRI proven) tear does run the risk of the long-term outcome being worsened due to diminishing quality of the cuff tissue with time.

5. Will I get back to sports?

Most patients with a successful repair of the cuff do return to their previous activities, with some modifications. Strenuous overhead exercises such as weight lifting, tennis and volleyball are possible, in small doses.

What our patients are saying
Shaun H.
I was able to get a office visit on short notice. It seemed to be a very busy day. Rebecca took the time to listen to all of my issues and discuss a plan for additional treatment. I have always been impressed with her knowledge and bed side manner.
Reviews from Google
Joanna S.
Dr Goodin has replaced both of my knees this year with excellent results. He and Carly listen to my concerns, act promptly and work hard to make this journey the best it can be. Carly and Dr Goodin both have GREAT bedside manner and I feel I am in expert care with them.
Reviews from Facebook
Carolyn K.
Dr. Yakkanti did my knee replacement in June. He is an excellent surgeon with a great bedside manner. I have recovered nicely and plan to have my other knee replaced within the next year. I would highly recommend Dr. Yakkanti to anyone thinking about knee replacement!
Reviews from Facebook
Juanita S.
The New Albany office of Louisville Orthopedic is full of terrific people who know what excellent customer service is about! From the front desk to the lab, they are great. Doctor Lewis is my surgeon and I love him. He’s good at what he does and he’s compassionate. I would recommend him to anyone.
Reviews from Facebook
Erin Z.
This was my first time at Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic and I saw Melissa Parshall PA-C. I was very impressed with how fast I got in, had x-rays, and met with her. She was very thorough and extremely friendly. So glad A friend told me to come see you guys! Thank you!
Reviews from Facebook
See All Reviews
Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic

4130 Dutchman's Lane,
Suite 300,Louisville 40207
(502) 897-1794

Northgate Medical Center

3605 Northgate Court,
Suite 207,New Albany 47150
(812) 920-0408

Locations
*MAIN LOCATION
Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic
4130 Dutchman's Lane
Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40207
Northgate Medical Center
3605 Northgate Court
Suite 207
New Albany, IN 47150