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How long after rotator cuff surgery can you drive

Rotator cuffs are a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff keeps the top of the upper arm bone immovable within the shallow attachment of the shoulder. Rotator cuff pain starts with a slight pain in the shoulder and worsens at night. Rotator injuries are most common and increase with age

Why and what are the causes of rotator cuff injury?

Rotator cuff injuries are commonly caused by escalating wear and tear of the tendon tissues progressively. The main cause is extended activities like weight lifting, which damage the tendons. However, it can also cause injury due to sudden falls or accidents. 

The common rotator cuff tears:

  • General wear and tear: Along with age, wear and tear in the joints are the most common. The severity differs from person to person depending on their medical health issues.
  • Tendinitis:The affected tendon becomes painful, and tender, and worsens during movement.
  • Bursitis: Commonly, joints affected with bursitis are the shoulder, elbow, and hip. Bursitis affects the joint fluid sacs called bursae.
  • Tendon strain or sprain: The injury is caused to a tendon, which is the fibrous tissue connecting the muscles to the bone. 
  • Shoulder Impingement: It happens when a tendon inside the shoulder rubs on nearby tissue and bone. Happens usually when you lift your arm.

Types of rotator cuff surgeries:

  • Arthroscopic tendon repair: Arthroscopic surgical procedure is generally performed on an outpatient. The least invasive method used to perform a torn rotator cuff. There are numerous methods of arthroscopic techniques used for repairing rotator cuffs.
  • Open tendon repair: The surgeon makes an incision over the shoulder and splits the part of the shoulder muscles to look better and gain access to the torn tendon. This procedure is called acromioplasty.
  • Tendon transfer: A muscle transfer surgery is a type of hand surgery done to improve the function of a lost hand. A functioning nerve is moved from its original attachment to a new one to restore the lost substance.
  • Shoulder replacement: The damaged shoulder bone is replaced with an artificial implant made of metal and plastic. This surgical procedure is called arthroplasty.

How to diagnose rotator cuff tear?

With the latest technologies, doctors can diagnose where and how much exactly the rotator cuff got damaged, and through these reports, the decision on the treatment the tests such as X-rays, Ultrasound, and Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI).

How long does it take for recovery?

The recovery duration varies from person to person, and mostly it takes four to six months. The people whose desk work can go for their work at any time whereas the professionals such as weight lifters and carpenters probably need more time, about 3 to 4 months.

After recovery, can I drive the car: 

Most patients, who have undergone rotator cuff surgery, can return to car driving within two weeks of surgery. Before you plan to drive after the rotator cuff surgery, first, you need to consult your doctor to make sure that your recovery is going on according to the plan. Post-surgery the patient’s surgical area (shoulder) is supported with a sling. You must wear a sling for about six to twelve weeks after surgery. 

The most popular question among the patients is, “After how many days can I drive?” Driving with one arm is not recommended, and the operated shoulder should not be too far from the body, as you can’t predict what sudden surprises you will face while driving on the road. 

So before going on the road, riding a stationary bike is safe with gentle moves without straining the shoulder. Unless your doctor gives you a positive signal to drive a bike or car after you remove the sling, you should not drive.

Please contact the best shoulder surgeon, Dr Chandra Sekhar for expert advice. He is an eminent shoulder surgeon with years of experience handling various shoulder surgeries. Please call +9199595 88389 and book your slot.

E-mail: shoulderandsportsclinic@


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