I found out my shoulder pain is from a torn rotator cuff tendon, along with compression of the bone that passes over the area. The doctor wants to remove part of the bone and repair the torn tendon. Do I really need all that? Won't the tendon grow back if the pressure is taken off?

Some patients can get along fine with just the decompression part of the operation. A piece of the bone that's pinching the tendon is removed. The tendon doesn't grow back or repair itself, but if you aren't engaging in activities or sports, you may not need this.

Decompression by itself often relieves the pain and patients are happy with just that. But if you are someone who is younger or more active (or wants to be more active), repairing the tendon is a must.

With the new arthroscopic method of doing the operation, it's fairly simple for the doctor to relieve the pressure and repair the tear. Healing time is about the same and you end up with a stronger repair. This leaves you open for engaging in activities you may have given up because of the shoulder pain.