Rotator Cuff Repair - Arthroscopic Surgery

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Rotator cuff repair surgery is a surgical procedure aimed at repairing a torn or damaged rotator cuff, which is a group of tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint and allow for its range of motion. Rotator cuff tears can result from injuries, degenerative changes, or overuse. Here’s an overview of rotator cuff repair surgery, treatment process, and potential causes:

Causes: Rotator cuff tears can be caused by various factors, including:

  1. Trauma: Acute injuries, such as falls or direct impacts to the shoulder, can cause tears in the rotator cuff tendons.
  2. Degeneration: Over time, the tendons of the rotator cuff can degenerate due to the natural aging process, wear and tear, and repetitive use.
  3. Repetitive Movements: Repetitive overhead motions, especially in sports like swimming, tennis, and baseball, can lead to gradual wear and tear on the rotator cuff tendons.
  4. Poor Posture: Poor posture, especially with the shoulders slouched forward, can increase the risk of rotator cuff injuries over time.

Treatment Process: The treatment process for a rotator cuff tear can vary based on the severity of the tear, the individual’s symptoms, and their overall health. Non-surgical treatments are often considered before surgery. Here’s an outline of the treatment process:

  1. Diagnosis: A physical examination, medical history, and imaging tests such as MRI or ultrasound are used to diagnose the extent and location of the rotator cuff tear.
  2. Non-Surgical Treatment: Mild to moderate rotator cuff tears may be managed with conservative treatments, including rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles.
  3. Surgical Intervention: If conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief or if the tear is severe, surgery may be recommended. Rotator cuff repair surgery aims to reattach the torn tendon to the bone and restore normal shoulder function.

    There are different surgical techniques for rotator cuff repair:

    • Open Repair: This traditional approach involves making a larger incision to access and repair the torn tendon.
    • Arthroscopic Repair: This minimally invasive approach uses small incisions and a tiny camera (arthroscope) to guide the surgeon in reattaching the tendon.
  4. Rehabilitation: After surgery, a structured rehabilitation program is crucial to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the shoulder. Physical therapy helps prevent stiffness and optimize healing.
  5. Recovery: Recovery times can vary depending on the extent of the tear and the surgical technique used. It may take several months for full recovery and return to normal activities.

Rotator cuff repair surgery aims to relieve pain, improve shoulder function, and enhance quality of life for individuals with rotator cuff tears. The choice of treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical, is based on individual factors such as age, activity level, and the size and location of the tear.

If you suspect you have a rotator cuff tear or are experiencing shoulder pain and limited mobility, it’s important to consult a medical professional, such as an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist, to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.

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