Each year in the United States, nearly 2 million people see their orthopedic doctors for rotator cuff tears.
If you think you may be one of these people, you may be wondering what treatment options are available to you. While a large percentage of patients with rotator cuff tears respond well to nonoperative methods (e.g., steroid injections, physical therapy, and rest), you may need surgery if your injury is severe or your symptoms continue unabated despite a lengthy course of nonoperative treatment. The goal of rotator cuff surgery is essential to address your symptoms altogether and restore the function and flexibility of your shoulder.
This blog post provides an overview of the available surgical options for rotator cuff injuries to help people, like you, make a well-informed decision.
Traditional Open Repair
Open repair is often carried out when there is a large and complex tendon (rotator cuff) tear and when an additional procedure, particularly a tendon transfer, is required.
During a traditional open repair procedure, an orthopedic surgeon makes a long incision over your shoulder and detaches the deltoid muscle (a large, triangular muscle that allows your shoulder to move in different directions) to gain access to your torn or damaged tendon and do the repair. Your surgeon may also remove bone spurs during this procedure.
Arthroscopic Tendon Repair
This technique involves your surgeon making a small incision (about a centimeter long) in the back of your shoulder and inserting an arthroscope – a pencil-sized, lighted instrument with a camera attached to its tip – to view the inside of your shoulder. Your surgeon then creates one to three additional tiny incisions to insert the surgical instruments and repair the damaged tendon.
Since arthroscopic repair is minimally invasive, it offers less pain, shorter recovery, and decreased risk for complications.
Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Repair
Mini-open rotator cuff repair is a combination of arthroscopy and open surgery. During this procedure, your surgeon uses an arthroscope to view the injured site, trim away bone spurs, and remove loose cartilage. Arthroscopyeliminates the need to detach the deltoid muscles to access the tendon. Once your orthopedic surgeon is done with the arthroscopic part, they then make another small incision and proceed with repairing the torn rotator cuff.
This option is recommended for people with massive or severe rotator cuff injuries, particularly those in which the rotator cuff muscles no longer function.
To provide better stability, your orthopedic surgeon may perform reverse shoulder arthroplasty, in which they install the ball part of your artificial joint onto your shoulder blade and the socket part onto your humerus (arm bone). This procedure relies on your deltoid muscle – instead of your rotator cuff muscles – to position and power your arm.
Rotator Cuff Repair Near Me in Farmington Hills, MI
At Tri County Orthopedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons deliver superior patient outcomes for all types of rotator cuff repair – which is why scores of athletes and non-athletes in Farmington and its neighboring places gravitate to our best-in-class orthopedic practice.
To make an appointment with one of our outstanding orthopedic surgeons, call us at (248) 474-5575 or fill out our convenient request an appointment form. We look forward to helping you feel and move better!