A rotator cuff tear is one of the most common shoulder injuries. While a rotator cuff tear can occur in athletes, they affect patients of all ages, especially the elderly. Patients are often concerned about recovery after rotator cuff surgery. Typically, Recovery is about 6 months but with careful attention to rehabilitation and a good surgeon, ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY can be highly succesful.
WHEN TO HAVE ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY?
Rotator cuff tears can sometimes be treated without surgery. In some cases, patients can do great with injections and physical therapy. However, most need to be followed closely to make sure the rotator cuff tear does not become a surgical problems. Long term issues can develop if a rotator cuff is not repaired, including the possibility that a rotator cuff tear may become irreparable and the shoulder will progress to arthritis.
TORN ROTATOR CUFF SYMPTOMS
There are several signs that a rotator cuff tear may require surgical intervention. Debilitating pain, pain at night, and new onset of significant shoulder disfunction, such as inability to raise your arm above your head and weakness all warrant further evaluation by an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder diseases. In most cases, if the pain does not resolve, your surgeon will most likely recommend surgery.
RECOVERY AFTER ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY
Patients are often apprehensive about rotator cuff surgery. However, using the latest arthroscopic techniques, most of these surgeries can be performed through minimally invasive measures and can lead to a quick recovery of function. It is crucial however to consistently follow rehabilitation guidelines and restrictions to ensure a good outcome. In most cases, full recovery after rotator cuff surgery occurs at about 6 months.
Having your rotator cuff surgery by a surgeon who specializes in shoulder surgery is crucial for a good outcome. Using a combination of arthroscopic methods, a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabiliation protocol, and a team trained to address common issues seen following this surgery will ensure that a patient maximizes their potential following a rotator cuff tear.
Anatomy of a rotator cuff tear
An arthroscopic view of a large rotator cuff tear
The same rotator cuff tear after an arthroscopic repair
SEE THE ROTATOR CUFF TEAR IN THE PICTURES ABOVE FIXED IN THE VIDEO BELOW
SEE AN ANIMATION OF A ROTATOR CUFF REPAIR IN THE VIDEO BELOW
Dr AKHAVAN discusses cutting-edge options when a rotator cuff is found to be irreparable at the time of surgery