Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

SYMPTOMS

 

CLINICAL EXAMINATION

 

INVESTIGATIONS

An MRI scan will be required to confirm the if the rotator cuff is torn.

 

NON-OPERATIVE TREATMENT

 

OPERATIVE TREATMENT

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair involves suturing the torn tendon back down to the humeral head (ball and socket joint of the shoulder) using anchors and sutures.  This is done arthroscopically.   A sub acromial decompression is always performed to remove the spike of bone which has often damaged the tendons in the first place.  

The surgery is done under General Anaesthetic with a local anaesthetic nerve block to the shoulder which is done by the Anaesthetist under Ultrasound Guidance. 

There are usually four small incisions, one at the back, two at the side and one at the front of the shoulder.   One of the incisions at the side of the shoulder usually has two stitches that need to be removed at 3 weeks post operatively.  

This surgery usually takes 30-45 minutes to perform and it normally done as a day case patient.  You can go home later on that afternoon.

POST-OPERATIVE REHABILITATION 

 The post op rehababilitation will depend entirely on the size of the tear and the quality of the tendon that we have to stitch.  You will go home wearing a sling which is to be worn for between 2 weeks - 6 weeks.  This will be discussed with you after your surgery on the ward. 

RETURN TO WORK AND DRIVING

The average return to work and driving again depends on the size of the tear but the earliest you would anticipate returning to work and driving after a cuff repair would be 5-6 weeks.

POST-OPERATIVE FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS

You will be reviewed at 3 weeks post surgery which is when we will look to see the range of movement to check that your shoulder is not getting stiff and to make sure that your physiotherapy has started and is going well.   The sutures also are to be removed at this time.

You will be reviewed again at 3 months post surgery when on average people report an 85% return to functional activities.  It can take 6-9 months to feel the full  benefit.

PATIENT INFORMATION
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