Rotator Cuff Repair
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons. The muscles enable the shoulder to move and rotate, while the tendons anchor the shoulder muscles to the joint.
Rotator cuff repair may be done when there is a large or complete tear in the rotator cuff, when a patient experiences a large amount of weakness, or when a patient is unable to do everyday activities using their arm. This surgery is a good option for patients who experienced a rotator cuff tear during a recent injury. This procedure can be performed via an incision or via shoulder arthroscopy, which utilizes a small camera inserted through a small incision.
With the other tools inserted through other small incisions, the surgeon can attach the tendon to the bone at the location of the tear. The tendon will be attached using sutures and suture anchors. Suture anchors are small rivets used to attach the tendon back to the bone, and do not need to be removed. The surgeon will finish the surgery by closing the incisions and dressing the wound.
Patients recover from this procedure over the course of 3 to 6 months, depending on the size of the tear and other factors. Patients will be instructed to wear a sling for 4 to 6 months post-surgery. Rotator cuff surgery is very effective at eliminating or greatly relieving shoulder pain, though the patient may not always return to full strength.