What is a Rotator Cuff Repair?

Rotator cuff repair is a very common procedure that is performed on over 3 million patients in the United States each year. Rotator cuff tears often occur when tendons connecting the muscles to the humerus bone within the shoulder joint become overused, stretched and then torn. Typically, rotator cuff injuries are sudden and due to overuse or strain of the shoulder joint, whether due to traumatic accident, continual labor-intensive work or an underlying condition or illness.

Our Treatment Approach

If your rotator cuff injury is very severe or if non-surgical treatment methods are ineffective, surgery may be an option to fully restore shoulder strength and range of motion while relieving pain and discomfort. Typically, surgical intervention is recommended for those who have experienced no improvement in their rotator cuff injury for 6 – 12 months, those with severe tears measuring over 3 centimeters, those who have suffered a recent but acute injury and those who are experiencing significant shoulder disability, such as notable weakness, loss of function and even immobility.

Generally, rotator cuff repair will be a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery that will involve these steps:

  • The orthopedic surgeon will carefully remove any loose bits of tendon or tissue from the area within the shoulder joint where the rotator cuff moves freely. When performed as a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon requires only tiny incisions and a very small camera to allow him or her to effectively repair the tear.
  • On occasion, the surgeon may need to create more room for the rotator cuff than what is available by trimming or shaving away parts of the bone or, if necessary, removing bone spurs.
  • He or she will then repair the torn tendon by firmly attaching the ends to the humerus (top of the upper arm).
  • When performed as an arthroscopic surgery, the rotator cuff repair is an outpatient procedure that allows the patient to return home the same day as their surgery. As with most minimally invasive procedures, patients will often experience faster recovery periods and significantly less post-operative pain.

Physical therapy focused on shoulder strengthening exercises will be an essential part of your recovery as it will encourage maximized mobility. However, not all patients will be eligible for minimally invasive rotator cuff repair surgery and, depending on the size and severity of the tear, may require a traditional open operation instead. If you’ve been battling a rotator cuff injury, then schedule an appointment with OrthoCARE Institute today to speak to one of our skilled orthopedic surgeons and decide on the best course of treatment for your unique situation.

Get in touch today by calling 972-573-7802 or by filling out the form on our Contact Us page. We look forward to helping you regain your quality of life faster!

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