I opted for the surgery and couldn't be happier. After a long period (years) in dealing with my shoulder I felt enough is enough. I had a great Dr. in a top rate facility.
It was thought initially (MRI) that I had a full tear, looked at months of rehab. Turns out small tear, "fray" they called it, tons of bursitis plus a bone spur! Snipped the fraying, shaved the spur and cleaned out the bursitis(tissue) and my 7+ weeks of recovery turned into 7+ days!! Yes, I got back in the water after a week, however, this I feel now was still pushing it. I recalled Terry's documented recovery from an injury and began my own in- water therapy, ever so gently. After that week of focused, super gentle, gentle drilling and positioning I was taking my first strokes with my newly revamped shoulder. Each week the percentile of my recovery increased along with my strength and confidence. In less than a month's time I was good to go, full steam.
I credit the way, the quality, of how I was swimming, before and after, along with some volume for making my recovery even better and quicker.
I'm pain free after many years of dealing periodically with this.
Do your homework, talk plainly with your Dr. and ask yourself what it is you hope to gain.
Chalk this vote up to surgery, you can deal with it other ways but the problem will not go away and your mobility will continue to deteriorate.
Muck luck and hapiness.