Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I have a fairly minor rotator cuff tear. My doctor is ordering a type of surgery called acromioplasty to "decompress" the tendons in the shoulder area. Will this take away the pain in my shoulder? And can I expect the results to last?


If the tear affects less than half of the rotator cuff tendon (grade 1 or 2 tear), you'll probably have good results. Ninety percent of patients with minor tears show immediate improvement from this procedure. And the results seem to last. In a recent study, most patients continued to be pain free when rechecked up to five years after surgery. Patients showed good shoulder strength and motion and were able to do all their activities. Patients followed for up to 10 years didn't show any worsening in the shoulder area.

When this treatment fails, it fails right away, and the results do not get better over time. Failure is more likely for larger tears and those located on the top surface of the rotator cuff.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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