Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that support the shoulder joint and allow for complete movement while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. These tendons and muscles may become torn or otherwise damaged from injury or overuse and can lead to pain, weakness and inflammation. Surgery may be used to treat this often serious condition.

Rotator cuff repair is performed under general anesthesia and aim to reattach the tendon back to the arm, along with removing any loose fragments from the shoulder area. Most rotator cuff procedures can now be performed through arthroscopy, which uses a few tiny incisions rather than one large incision. This technique offers patients minimal trauma, less scarring and less damage to surrounding tissue.

Rotator cuff repair surgery is usually successful in relieving shoulder pain, although full strength cannot always be restored. Patients must undergo physical therapy after surgery, and it may take months for the shoulder to fully heal. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is considered much safer than the traditional procedure, although risks such as infection, pain or stiffness, nerve damage or the need for repeated surgery do still exist. These risks are considered rare, as most people achieve successful outcomes from this procedure.