I tore mine (was a bad tear but I don’t remember the specifics) several years ago horsing around in the pool with my son. I was in the deep end and my son swam over me. I reached up and grabbed him as he went over me. I could hear a very distinct pop when it happened. My OS gave me some exercises that did absolutely nothing for relieving the pain. I tolerated it until December and finally had it repaired. I had a complete supraspinatus tear repaired in the same shoulder two years earlier. I will tell you this- the rotator cuff was painful but not nearly as bad as the labrum repair (I was told bc they go deeper in the shoulder). However, the labrum recovery was very quick. I was back to normal activities (I was playing tournament racquetball at the time and played 15-20hrs/wk) in about 6wks. The rotator cuff repair takes 9-12mon to be fully healed.
My wife has a partial (~30%) in her supraspinatus. She’s been doing PT religiously for about 9 months in hopes of avoiding surgery. She’s not getting better and I keep telling her she might as well face the knife and get it over so she can get better.