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Rotator Cuff Repair

What is rotator cuff repair?

To repair a torn rotator cuff, the surgeon will reattach the damaged tendon to the upper arm.

The surgery will be done as follows:

  • To gain access to the injured rotator cuff, the surgeon will first make a two to three inch incision in the shoulder. Then will make a cut through the deltoid muscle. If it is the arthroscopic surgery, then the incision will have the size of a button hole.
  • The surgeon will then remove any scar tissue which is present on the tendon.
  • A small trough at the top of the upper arm will be carved by the surgeon. Then he will drill small holes through the bones.
  • The surgeon will then sew the tendon to the bone. Sometimes the surgeon may use permanent anchors to attach the tendon to the bone.

The surgeon will also remove bone spurs during the operation. He also releases any ligaments which are pressing on the tendon. If a bursa is inflamed then the surgeon either removes it or excises it. The surgeon may also remove a small part of the acromion in order to make sure that the repaired rotator cuff has space to move. The surgery will last from 30 to 90 minutes and can be done on an outpatient basis. Then your arm will be placed in a sling. Healing will occur with time, as the scar tissues will connect the tendon to the bone. It is a slow process since tendons get poor blood supply.

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