A torn rotator cuff is a common cause of shoulder pain. Rotator cuff repair is surgery that repairs a torn tendon (rotator cuff tear) in the shoulder (tendons connect muscle to bone). The rotator cuff is a grouping of muscles and tendons that form a “cuff” over the shoulder, keeping the arm in the ball-and-socket joint and helping the shoulder to rotate. The name of the tendon in the shoulder is the “rotator cuff tendon.” Rotator cuff tendon injuries most commonly occur due to the wear and tear associated with aging. Often, what appears as a minor injury causes the tendon to give way. On occasion, a single injury will cause the problem. Dr. Levy may recommend rotator cuff repair if you experience shoulder pain when using your arm in positions over your head, weakness in the arm and a bone spur or inflammation around the rotator cuff and if you have failed conservative management. There are other options available, including no treatment, physical therapy exercises or pain medication, and sometimes, injections. In the majority of cases, tendon repair is possible. About five percent of the time, this is not possible. In this situation, the removal of inflammation, scar tissue and bone spurs often helps to diminish the shoulder pain but overhead use usually does not return to normal. Rarely, the condition can improve without surgery. Most often, the pain increases and the movement and strength decrease. Fortunately, this usually occurs slowly over the years.