Rotator cuff strains and tears are a common problem in athletes as well as professional painters or anyone in a profession that requires repetitive arms motion. The injury happens over time from wear and tear. Sometimes, the tear can also occur from sudden injuries such as falling on your arm or lifting something heavy. Rotator cuff tears can be partial or complete. Partial rotator cuff tears can be treated via nonsurgical methods while complete rotator cuff tears may require surgical interventions. This article lists out the surgical treatment options for rotator cuff tears. Read on.

When is Rotator Cuff Surgery Recommended?

The shoulder surgery for rotator cuff tears usually involves re-attaching the rotator cuff tendon to the head of the humerus. A partial tear usually requires a trimming or smoothing procedure, known as a debridement. A complete tendon tear is stitched back to the humerus. Rotator cuff surgery is typically recommended when shoulder pain does not improve with nonsurgical treatment methods. Continued pain is an indication of the need for surgery. If you are someone that uses your arms in overhead positions regularly, the doctor may recommend surgery.

Read Related: Understanding Rotator Cuff Injuries and Repair

A few other signs that surgery might be necessary include:

Symptoms have been present for  6-12 months

Tear that is larger than 3 cm and the surrounding tendons are in good condition

Weakness and loss of function in the shoulder

A recent acute injury tear

Surgical Treatment Options

Advancements in surgical techniques have allowed for less invasive procedures. There are a few repair options for rotator cuff tears, with each having its advantages and disadvantages. The goal of all surgery is to get the tendon to heal.

The best type of shoulder surgery will depend on various factors such as the size of the tear, the anatomy of the body, and the quality of the tendon tissue and bone. 

Three common surgical techniques to repair a torn rotator cuff include traditional open repair, arthroscopic surgery, and mini-open surgery. Patients have reported experiencing pain relief, strength improvement, and overall satisfaction from all three surgical methods.

Read More: Prolonged Shoulder and Elbow Pain: A Sign of Bursitis or Tendinitis

Open Repair

A traditional open repair is generally required if the tear is large or complex. In this surgical method, the surgeon makes an incision on the shoulder and detaches one of the shoulder muscles to get better access to the tendon. This was the first technique used to treat torn rotator cuffs. 

Arthroscopic Repair

During arthroscopic repair surgery, the surgeon uses a small camera, called an arthroscope, and inserts it into the shoulder joint. The camera image displays on a screen and the surgeon uses these images to guide small surgical instruments. Since arthroscopic surgery uses small instruments, there is no need for large incisions. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to repair a torn rotator cuff. 

Mini-Open Surgery

Technological advancements have introduced new surgical options for shoulder repair without the need for large incisions. In a mini-open surgery, the incision is about 3-5cm long. This technique involves using an arthroscope to identify and treat damage in the joint. In a mini-open surgery, the surgeon views the tendon directly instead of on a monitor.

Wrap Up

It is normal to feel pain after the surgery, which is part of the healing process. The doctor will work on reducing the pain to facilitate quick recovery. Medications can help manage pain in the short term. If you are looking for a reputable shoulder replacement surgeon in Plano, TX, connect with a physician referral center.


Author's Bio: 

Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center is a well-known healthcare center in Texas that helps connect patients with participating shoulder replacement surgeon that are most appropriate for their condition, injury, or illness.