Rotator cuff surgery is an elective procedure, so it can be scheduled in advance to give you time to prepare your home and yourself for surgery. Consider the steps you can take to make your recovery process a little easier.

See Rotator Cuff Tear Surgery

Rotator cuff surgery may be considered for patients with symptoms that have not responded to nonsurgical treatments. See Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

Prepare your home before surgery

You’ll have to be careful with the use of your injured arm after surgery and you don’t want to risk a retear. So do everything you can to prepare your home for life after surgery.

See Rotator Cuff Surgery Recovery

Readying your home can mean:

  • Make shirts that zip or button easily accessible because this can make getting dressed easier. You’ll want to avoid having to pull your shirt overhead.
  • Remove all potential tripping hazards in your home, such as toys, cords, or throw rugs.
  • Purchase bathroom accessories like soaps in a pump dispenser or a detachable shower head to make the bathing process easier.
  • Go shopping before your surgery and purchase frequently used items, such as toiletries, canned goods, and prepared foods.

Remember you don’t have to do everything yourself. Enlist the help of others—a spouse, friend, or relative—to drive you to and from work, cook a meal, or clean your house.

See What to Do Before Rotator Cuff Surgery


Comply with your physician’s directions

Don’t forget to take care of yourself in the days and weeks leading up to surgery. Your physician will probably give you specific directions to follow, but here are a few to think about:

  • Stop using nicotine-based products. You may be asked to cut back or quit nicotine-based products, since they can negatively affect your recovery. These products can also increase the risk of infection after surgery, especially in muscle-centered ones, like rotator cuff surgery.1
  • Stop taking certain medications or supplements. It’s important to tell your physician about all of the medications and supplements you’re taking prior to the procedure. You may need to stop taking certain medications and supplements well in advance of the surgery.
  • Visit medical specialists. If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, your surgeon may be recommend that you make appointments to see speciality physicians before your rotator cuff surgery.

See Different Types of Rotator Cuff Surgery

Rehabilitation is a critical part of your recovery process. Cross one more “to do” off your list by identifying the rehabilitation clinic you want to attend after your procedure. You may also be able to make your rehabilitation appointments before surgery.

Try to do everything you can in advance of your rotator cuff surgery to make the recovery process an easy transition. In other words, anticipate the small things to make your recovery process smoother.

See Rotator Cuff Surgery Risks and Complications

Learn more:

Rotator Cuff Injuries

Who Can Have Rotator Cuff Surgery?


  1. Surgery and Smoking. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Last reviewed December 2013. Accessed July 7, 2016.