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Returning to Sports After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Rotator cuff injuries are common in all levels of sports, from recreational players to professional athletes. The rotator cuff consists of a group of muscles and tendons that help stabilize the shoulder joint. And while the rotator cuff allows you to make a wide range of motions, this flexibility also makes your rotator cuff vulnerable to sudden injuries and injuries from overuse. 

The highly esteemed orthopedic surgeons at MidJersey Orthopaedics are dedicated to helping you return to your chosen sports as safely and quickly as possible following an injury. In this blog, they explain how you can recover well from a rotator cuff injury.

Getting back to sports safely

The MidJersey Orthopaedics team specializes in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery and can repair a wide range of rotator cuff injuries. Instead of making one large incision, arthroscopic surgical techniques involve using several very small incisions. This results in fewer complications and faster recovery times. Additional factors may play a role in your recovery time, including:

The time it will take for you to return will depend on your specific case. Some athletes safely return to their activities 4-6 months following rotator cuff surgery. For other athletes, they may need 12 months before they can safely return to their sport. In short, the type and severity of your rotator cuff injury and the type of sport you play will likely be the major factors. 

Slow and steady wins the race

It may be tempting to rush through your recovery. While we understand that most athletes and sports enthusiasts are eager to return to their activities quickly, your safety and wellness is our top priority.

So, once you start feeling better, it’s crucial that you resume your activities gradually. If you progress too quickly, you may reinjure your shoulder. When your rehabilitation team gives you the green light to return to your sport, you should start slowly and build up your performance incrementally.

Focus on building strength

During recovery, you should make sure to attend your physical therapy sessions. Your exercises will be specifically designed to help your shoulder regain strength, mobility, and function to ensure that your shoulder will be ready when you return to your activities. 

Warm up and cool down

Stretching before and after activities can help you avoid reinjuring your rotator cuff. As mentioned earlier, your rotator cuff is made up of tendons and muscles that work to hold your shoulder firmly in place as you move. By taking the time to ease these tissues into and out of activity, you can reduce your chances of developing strains and tears.

Listen to your body

You’ve likely heard the adage “no pain, no gain,” but nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to your rotator cuff. After you recover from a rotator cuff injury, it’s crucial to listen to your body and ease up on any activity that causes you pain. Instead of trying to power through discomfort, rest your shoulder instead.

If you have a rotator cuff injury, the team at MidJersey Orthopaedics can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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