The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that form a cuff over the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons hold the arm in its joint and help the shoulder joint to move. The tendons can be torn from overuse or injury. There are three common techniques used to repair a torn rotator cuff: open repair, mini-open repair, and arthroscopy. The following takes place during a rotator cuff repair:
- The tendons are re-attached to the bone.
- Small rivets (called suture anchors) are often used to help attach the tendon to the bone.
- Sutures (stitches) are attached to the anchors, which tie the tendon back to the bone.
Signs of a torn rotator cuff are:
- Pain when you rest or at night, and it has not improved with exercises over 6 to 12 months.
- You are active and use your shoulder for sports or work.
- You have weakness and are unable to do everyday activities.
Recovery can take 4 to 6 months, depending on the size of the tear and other factors. You may have to wear a sling for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Pain is usually managed with medicines. Physical therapy can help you regain the motion and strength of your shoulder. The length of therapy will depend on the repair that was done.
Dr. Larsen performs rotator cuff repairs and is more than happy to help you or anyone you know recover from this type of injury or pain. To learn more about rotator cuff repairs and if it’s the right thing for your shoulder condition, come visit Dr. Larsen. You can also do your own research at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007207.htm.
“Rotator cuff repair.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. N.p., 9 May 2015. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.