Rotator cuff injuries can be painful and restrict the range of motion of the shoulder. Since many daily tasks involve the use of the hands and arms, which are made possible by the shoulder, rotator cuff problems should be evaluated and treated quickly. In its early stages, a rotator cuff tear can be fixed. Acute injuries as a result of trauma are best treated with surgery.
Rotator cuff tear repair is usually recommended by doctors when conservative treatments do not work for six months. However, treatment will depend on several factors, since most cases of rotator cuff tears can heal without surgery.
For patients who are recommended this procedure, a successful rotator cuff repair can relieve pain and restore function and mobility to the shoulder.
How Rotator Cuff Surgery Works
Rotator cuff repair may be performed using a minimally-invasive technique, with the use of an arthroscope. An arthroscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera attached to its end that shows the surgeon in real-time what is inside the shoulder. Smaller incisions are made with arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, and patients are able to return home on the day of the procedure.
During the procedure, the surgeon performs a debridement, where they remove loose pieces of cartilage that can hinder the healing of the injury. Then, they access the torn tendon and reattach it to the humerus bone. The doctor stitches the tendon back to the humerus bone using suture anchors, and then stitches are attached to the anchors to keep the tendon aligned to the humerus bone.
Recovery from this minimally invasive surgery is relatively quick compared to open surgery. Your shoulder will be in a sling for several weeks and physical therapy will be part of recovery.
The benefit of rotator cuff surgery is that it relieves pain in the shoulder. A rotator cuff tear, whether partial or full, is very painful. The surgery also restores function and stability to the shoulder. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that provide stability to the shoulder joint and allows the arm its range of motion. When it tears, the shoulder becomes not just unstable but also weak. A large study conducted on the durability of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair found that many patients who received the treatment are still enjoying the benefits even five years after surgery.
A rotator cuff repair may also be preventive against osteoarthritis, as repeated rotator cuff injuries are a risk factor for shoulder arthritis. There is currently no cure for arthritis, only methods to relieve pain.
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair takes skill to perform successfully. Choose an orthopedic surgeon that is experienced in this highly advanced procedure to perform your surgery. This will ensure you get optimal service and results.
Highly-Skilled Shoulder Surgeon in Maryland
Our orthopedic surgeons at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder are fellowship-trained in upper extremity surgeries, including the highly advanced arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. To schedule a consultation with one of our shoulder surgeons, call our Maryland orthopedic clinic at (410) 296-6232 or use our online request form.