Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator Cuff Injuries Surgery in NYC

Treatment Options

Many rotator cuff injuries and tears can be treated through nonsurgical methods that focus on relieving pain and restoring function to the shoulder. These may include:

  • Rest
  • Use of a sling
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy

Surgical Procedures

Rotator cuff surgery in NYC may be performed arthroscopically or through an open procedure, depending on the type and severity of the condition. Both types of procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia, although with the arthroscopic method a regional anesthesia can be used instead to make the shoulder and arm numb. The purpose of surgery is to reattach the tendon back to the arm, along with removing any loose fragments from the shoulder area. During arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, several small incisions are made in the shoulder, into which a thin tube and tiny instruments are inserted. The surgeon repairs the tendon through visualization on a television monitor. This technique also allows for shorter recovery times than the traditional, open surgical method, which is now generally reserved for only very large or complex tears. Once the repair is complete, any incisions will be stitched closed and patients will be moved to a recovery room where they will be monitored post-operatively for a few hours.

The rotator cuff is the thick band of muscles and tendons that covers the top of the upper arm and holds in it place, providing stability and a full range of motion to the shoulder joint. It is made up of four muscles and their associated tendons. These tendons can become partially or completely torn as a result of a rotator cuff tear.

Causes of Rotator Cuff InjuriesWoman with rotator cuff injury

A rotator cuff tear most often occurs as a result of overuse of the muscles over a long period of time. As a result, this condition is most common in patients over the age of 40. It may also occur as a result of a traumatic injury.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries

Patients with a rotator cuff tear often experience pain when lifting or lowering their arm, muscle weakness and atrophy. These symptoms may appear suddenly after the cuff is torn, or develop gradually after long-term wear. Your doctor can diagnose a rotator cuff tear after evaluating your symptoms and performing an X-ray or MRI exam.


Recovery

Rotator cuff repair surgery is usually successful in relieving shoulder pain, although full strength cannot always be restored. Approximately 80 to 95 percent of patients achieve effective pain relief, restoration of function and improved range of motion after their procedure. These results can vary depending on the type of procedure performed as well as the patient’s individual condition, age and overall health. After surgery, the arm will be immobilized to promote proper healing. A sling may be recommended to keep your arm from moving for the first several weeks post-surgery. Physical therapy will also begin shortly after surgery to help restore strength and movement and allow patients to gradually resume their regular activities. It is important for patients to commit to their physical therapy program in order to achieve the most effective surgical results.

Risks

As with any surgery, there are certain risks involved with rotator cuff repair such as infection, pain or stiffness, nerve damage or the need for repeated surgery. These complications are rare and most people receive successful outcomes from this procedure. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you, as well as address any concerns you may have, prior to your procedure. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is considered much safer than the traditional procedure, although some of the above-mentioned risks do still exist.