Rotator Cuff Repair

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ROTATOR CUFF REPAIR

Rotator Cuff Repair is needed when rotator cuff tendons are torn as a result of injury, overuse or shoulder impingement. Patients have pain and weakness in lifting their arm. Repair is usually performed by arthroscopic surgery (keyhole technique), rarely open surgery is needed. Using 3-6 small puncture holes we visualise the tear using a camera. Suture anchors – small screws with stitches loaded, are then placed in the bone. Rotator cuff tendons are sewed into bone using these stitches. Bony arch above the tendons (acromion) is shaved simultaneously to create space for rotator cuff tendons to glide freely – this is called subacromial decompression. After surgery you are discharged from hospital the same day or next morning. You will be in a sling for a few weeks. Progressive exercises start the day after surgery. It takes at least 3-6 months to get the strength back in your shoulder. You are ready for contact sports after about 9 months after surgery. The suture anchors used are generally made of bioabsorbable materials and do not need to be removed later. More about rotator cuff tears (more information shoulder patient info)

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External view of a rotator cuff repair in progress

Arthroscopic picture of a completed repair

Arthroscopic picture of a completed repair

Diagrammatic representation of rotator cuff repair

Diagrammatic representation of rotator cuff repair

Scars after rotator cuff repair

Scars after rotator cuff repair

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