Most people with impingement or a small tear can get back good function by changing their activities, and with the help of physiotherapy.
Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can also help.
A steroid and local-anaesthetic injection into your shoulder can sometimes reduce pain.
If you have a large tear, it is likely that surgery is your only option to get back some strength in your shoulder.
Shoulder surgery is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. However, a variety of anaesthetic techniques is possible. The operation usually takes between three-quarters of an hour and an hour.
Impingement is usually treated by arthroscopy (keyhole surgery). Your surgeon will use instruments to remove any thickened tissue, release any tight tissue and to shave off some bone.
Your surgeon may also be able to repair rotator-cuff tears using the keyhole technique. However, they may need to use open surgery. They will use stitches that anchor into the bone.
Shoulder surgery (rotator cuff)
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.