New study shows immobilization not needed after rotator cuff repair. I do not immobilize pts after rotator cuff surgery and have had good success without complications doing so. This study validates that approach as also reflected in a recent FB post by a patient….
Often surgeons immobilize patients for a month after surgery in a sling or shoulder immobilizer while starting physical therapy early on. I have followed the opposite approach. No immobilization when the patient is comfortable discarding their sling and delayed physical therapy. The reason many surgeons immobilize after surgery is to avoid damage to the repair. However I have been fortunate to not have this problem. I employ usually a double row technique which is very secure. I delay physical therapy because early physical therapy has been associated with early tearing. I have had patients referred in where this occurred and re-repair is required. Delaying physical therapy mitigates this risk, and early motion after surgery eliminates the need to take the risk of early p.t. I individualize care and do occasionally employ early physical therapy if a patient is unusually stiff, but this is an unusual occurrence.