My 60-year-old mother tore her rotator cuff. Now even the simplest activities are hard for her to do. Will surgery decrease her disability?

According to a recent study, there's an excellent chance that surgery can help your mother to do daily tasks. This study looked at patients who had surgery to repair their rotator cuffs around age 55. The patients had tried other kinds of treatment before surgery, and their pain had lasted more than three months.

Two years after surgery, 88 percent of the patients had good or excellent results. These patients had less pain, more shoulder strength, and were better able to do everyday activities.

Ten years after surgery, the results were even better. Ninety-one percent of patients had good or excellent results. And they had less disability than they'd had at two years. This may be because many of the patients were retired and less active overall. In other words, their lifestyles had changed in ways that put fewer demands on their shoulders. Your mother may want to talk to her doctor about what surgery could do for her, based on her condition and lifestyle.