Dear Ask The Doctor: An MRI revealed a small tear of my rotator cuff. I am a seventeen year old baseball pitcher. My shoulder has hurt since I am 14 years old. I started seeing a physical therapist yesterday. I am very physically active. I would like to join the military one day if I am not a professional baseball player and want to be able to do all of the physical demands of basic training. Should I have surgery now, at 17? Thanks
Dear Patient: Rotator cuff injuries usually respond well to conservative treatment as you are presently undergoing. Only severe injuries and those injuries that do not respond to conservative treatment require surgery.