Rotator cuff repair surgery

What is it?

You might require surgery if your rotator cuff tendons are inflamed or you have a tear in the tendons (connecting tissue).

The rotator cuff is a sheet of fibrous tendon tissue connecting muscles from the shoulder blade to the arm bone. It is formed by the tendons of four muscles: an elevator, an internal rotator and two external rotators. The main function of the rotator cuff is to keep the ball (humeral head) of the shoulder joint firmly in the socket so that the muscles around the shoulder can rotate and position the arm for functional movements, particularly overhead movements.

Diagnosis and treatment options

Your consultant will examine you and ask you to demonstrate certain movements to check how well your shoulder is working.

You might need some additional tests:

  • X-ray
  • An ultrasound scan
  • A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

A complete rotator cuff tear will generally require surgery to allow the healing process to take place. The surgery is usually performed via keyhole surgery.

Rotator cuff surgery is a daycase procedure. Overnight stays in the hospital are generally unnecessary. The surgical procedure usually takes around an hour, depending on the extent of work needed to repair the torn tendons.

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