Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
Arthroscopic procedure to treat rotator cuff injuries and tears.
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
Shoulder arthroscopy involves introducing a small camera and instruments into the shoulder joint through a series of small incisions to examine different parts of the shoulder. This may oftentimes be both therapeutic and diagnostic. Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to visualize the labrum, biceps tendon, capsular ligaments, undersurface and superior surface of the rotator cuff, the glenoid, humeral head, and subacromial space. Debridement and repair of injured structures can be done when necessary through the small portals made in the shoulder. The overall goal is to restore normal function and stability while eliminating pain.
Rotator cuff repairs involve returning the torn tendon to its native location with the use of anchors placed in the bone and sutures drawn through the torn end of the tendon. For the first six weeks after surgery, you will have to rest your shoulder in a sling with very limited shoulder motion. The tendon will take about six weeks to heal down to the bone. Once the six weeks has passed, the patient may begin gentle range of motion exercises with formal physical but must wait three months before it is safe to do any kind of resistance or strengthening exercises. The entire recovery process takes anywhere from six months to one year after surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most shoulder pain can be treated with rest, anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. Any primary doctor or general orthopedist can prescribe these simple solutions, but a trained shoulder specialist won’t just treat your pain — they will diagnose and treat your specific problem.
At Modern Orthopaedics, our trained shoulder specialists will ask the right questions, perform specific examinations and order imaging when appropriate. They will be able to diagnose your problem and treat you whether your problem is simple or complex. Although you may not feel like your shoulder issue is “bad enough” to see a specialist, it is advantageous to have the opinion of an expert in the field when it comes to your health.
If you have been diagnosed with a “rotator cuff tear,” that can mean many different things depending on the severity, location, chronicity and dysfunction it is causing. Many times, a small or partial tear can be found on an MRI, but a patient may not even have symptoms. We treat the patient and not the MRI findings. That being said, MRIs can be very helpful in diagnosing a tear, and imaging gives us the ability to visualize the location and extent of the tear. With that information, we can come up with the best treatment plan. Thankfully, most people who have a rotator cuff tear on an MRI do not need surgery, but many people do. We are here to help, whether you just need a few sessions of therapy or you need surgical intervention.
As our patient, you will have an in-depth consultation with one of our doctors. We will create an individualized treatment plan together, tailored to your problem and lifestyle. Our doctors prefer non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy and/or injections. If your problem ultimately does require surgery, our doctors prefer the least invasive surgical techniques possible. Our goals are the same as yours: to get you back to living your best life, pain free.