Overview of Rotator Cuff Repair from an Arizona Orthopedic Doctor

by / Monday, 20 April 2015 / Published in Shoulder Surgery

What is rotator cuff repair?

Rotator cuff repair is a surgical process used to repair a torn rotator cuff. The surgical process involves the reattachment of your tendon to the head of your upper arm bone. If you have a partial tear you may only require a smoothing procedure which is referred to as debridement. If you have a tear in the thickest part of your tendon it can be repaired by stitching the two sides of your tendon back together.

When is rotator cuff repair surgery recommended?

Your Arizona orthopedic doctor might recommend this surgical procedure if your rotator cuff is torn and your pain has not improved Shoulder painthrough the use of nonsurgical methods. Regular pain in spite of nonsurgical methods is an indication for surgery. If you were active and you typically use your arm for sports or overhead work, your shoulder surgeon in PHoenix might also suggest that you have the surgery. Finds that you are a qualifying patient for surgery include symptoms that have lasted for 6 to 12 months, a tear in your rotator cuff that is bigger than 3 cm, and significant loss of function in your shoulder.

What are the surgical repair options?

In order to repair a rotator cuff there are a few surgical options that you can use. Some of them are less invasive compared to traditional surgery. No matter the method you use, the goal is to get your tendon to naturally heal. The type of repair that can be performed is dependent upon multiple factors including the experience of your surgeon, the size of the problem area, your personal anatomy, and the quality of your existing tissue. Many of the surgical repairs for a rotator cuff can be completed as an outpatient procedure whereby you do not have to stay in the hospital overnight. Your surgeon will talk to you about the best procedure to meet your needs.

If you have shoulder problems in addition to the rotator cuff issue your surgeon may be able to take care of these during a surgical operation as well. The three most common techniques used include an open repair, in all Arthroscopic repair, and a mini open repair.

What is rehabilitation like?

Shoulder ScopeRehabilitation will get you back in your normal activities and will help you to regain strength and motion in your shoulder. Once your surgery is complete your therapy will take place in stages. The repair has to be protected it first so that your tendon can heal. In order to prevent your arm for moving you’ll have to avoid use of that arm and wear a sling for 4 to 6 weeks. The length of time that you are required to wear the sling is dependent upon the severity of the injury.

Once this time has passed, the muscles around your arm will still be weak and you will need to work with a physical therapist to improve your range of motion. After six weeks you can take part in active exercises without a physical therapist and you will notice that the muscles around your shoulder will start to strengthen and improve naturally.

Dr. Adam Farber in Phoenix is a top Arizona orthopedic sports medicine surgeon offering cutting-edge treatments for rotator cuff injuries. The most minimally invasive methods are available, call today!