Recovery after a torn rotator cuff surgery is typically about three to six months, during which time pain usually subsides gradually and is managed with pain medication, according to MedlinePlus. For some patients, chronic pain may continue for an indefinite length of time.
After surgery to repair a rotator cuff, the rehabilitation process typically advances through three main stages: immobilization, passive exercise and active exercise, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The first stage involves keeping the affected arm in a sling for about four to six weeks to minimize movement. At some point during this time, a therapist begins helping to move the arm in small degrees and with slow movements. Several weeks into this stage, the therapist helps the patient learn to exercise the arm without assistance. The degree of pain depends on the severity of the original injury and the progression through the rehabilitation stages.