by SportsDoc Raj
Rotator cuff repair is a surgical procedure that is conducted to repair a tear in rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is term that is used to describe a group of muscles and tendons found in the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff keeps the arm in place allowing the shoulder to rotate and conduct movements. This group of tendons and muscles could get damaged as a result of overuse or trauma from an injury.
5 Things You Need to Know About Rotator Cuff Repair
- Purpose of the surgery: Rotator cuff repair is performed to treat a rotator cuff tear, as this could cause shoulder weakness. The main aim of the surgery is to restore the function of the shoulder and relieve pain. Most patients who undergo this procedure have already tried considerable nonsurgical treatment.
- Success rate of the procedure: This procedure is mostly successful when conducted shortly after injury. Most doctors find it best to have the procedure weeks after the injury as this increases the effectiveness of the treatment and also prevents further injury. The treatment also produces better results if conducted on patients with healthy tendons and muscles. There is therefore a higher success rate on younger patients. That said; the extent of the tear also matters and large rotator cuff tears don’t always produce successful results.
- Risks that come with the procedure: There are risks involved with any surgery. Complications that may arise from rotator cuff repair include: infection of the shoulder joint or the incision site. Damage of the deltoid muscle or tendon is a possible complication. Should the deltoid get detached, further surgery may be required. The patient also could require repeat surgery if the rotator cuff does not heal. Though uncommon, nerve and blood vessel damage also could occur. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a rare side effect.
- The repair process: The first step in surgery is debridement and this stage involves freshening up the edges of the loose tendon, bursa and further fragments from the rotator cuff space. This is then followed by smoothing the undersurface of the acromion, which is basically smoothing the bone of the shoulder blade. The torn supraspinatus edges of the tendon are then sewn to the humerus, which is the upper part of the arm bone.
- Surgical options: Open surgery is conducted with rotator cuff repair, but thanks to emerging medical technologies and processes, repair can now be done with the use of a mini-open procedure. This procedure is less invasive and it is conducted via a small incision on the site. Arthroscopic surgery also could be done to repair the rotator cuff. Minimally invasive procedures are less risky and provide faster recovery.
Who Needs Rotator Cuff Repair?
If you have had shoulder pain that has not improved despite numerous treatments, rotator cuff repair could be the treatment for you. This treatment is done on patients who have a rotator cuff tear and this could be a partial tear, a large or complete tear.
The treatment is also ideal on patients who experience muscle weakness and cannot perform even the simplest activities. Rotator cuff repair is most successful on recent injuries, and if performed on rotator cuff tendons and muscles that are not frayed.