I have a rotator cuff tear- should I have surgery?
A recent study from Finland showed that for non-traumatic rotator cuff tears (of the supraspinatus), physical therapy alone produced results equal to surgery.
The physical therapy treatments included strengthening for 6 months. When assessed at 3 month, 6 months, and 1 year, there were similar rates of improvement in the surgical and non surgical groups.
So for non-traumatic rotator cuff tears, physical therapy treatment should be considered before surgery.
Source: PT in Motion, May 2014