Growth factors are known to appear during wound healing. We hypothesized that growth factors would also appear during the healing process of a rotator cuff tear. We determined the expression of various growth factors during healing of acute rotator cuff tears in the rabbit. We made a full-thickness defect in the supraspinatus tendon of 27 Japanese white rabbits. The shoulders were harvested on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 21, and 28 postoperatively (n = 3 at each time point). We assessed the expression of basic fibroblast growth factor, insulin-like growth factor 1, platelet-derived growth factor, and transforming growth factor beta. Basic fibroblast growth factor appeared with its peak on days 7 and 9, insulin-like growth factor 1 appeared with its peak on day 5, platelet-derived growth factor appeared with a mild expression between days 7 and 14, and transforming growth factor beta appeared with constant mild expression throughout the observation period. It is likely that each of these growth factors plays a role in the early phase of healing of the supraspinatus tendon in rabbits.