Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

What is arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery?

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery is a procedure used to treat rotator cuff tears. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and tendons and helps stabilize the shoulder joint. If damaged, the movements of lifting or rotating the arm can be impacted. Rotator cuff injuries result in the tendons pulling away from the arm bone. A partial tear occurs when the tendon is still somewhat attached to the arm bone, and a complete tear occurs when the tendon has completely separated from the arm bone. Damage to the rotator cuff can also lead to the inflammation of the bursa. Rotator cuff tears can be the result of falls or other injuries. Another common cause of rotator cuff injuries is gradual wear and tear. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear can include immediate and intense pain. The patient may also notice a popping or clicking sound when moving the arm.

What is an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair procedure like?

The surgeon will begin the procedure by making small incisions around the shoulder. The surgeon may then trim bone spurs around the shoulder. The surgeon will then address any arthritis of the acromioclavicular joint, and if there is arthritis present, a portion of the clavicle at the outer end may be removed, called distal clavicle excision. The tear in the rotator cuff will then be repaired using dissolving screws, stitches, or metal screws. The incisions will then be closed. The rotator cuff will take around six weeks to heal to the bone. The patient may be prescribed pain medication or be recommended over-the-counter medications. After surgery, the patient will need to wear a sling for four to six weeks and receive physical therapy in order to regain optimal mobility. The patient will also need to attend all follow-up appointments to ensure that their rotator cuff repair is healing correctly.

Do you have an injury that could benefit from this surgical technique? Contact the specialists at Mobility Bone & Joint Institute to learn more about treatment options.

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