When the condition is a slow rotator cuff tear that develops over time, patients often try to combat the discomfort by using anti-inflammatory or pain medication. While these may help with pain, they won’t repair the tear that is causing the pain in the tendons. As blood flow to these tendons is poor, they repair themselves more slowly than other parts of the body. In the case of a full rotator cuff tear, the tendon is no longer able to repair itself and a rotator cuff repair surgery will become necessary.
What is rotator cuff repair surgery?
Rotator cuff surgery is a procedure that repairs ripped tendons in the shoulder. Using state-of-the-art technology and proven techniques, our board-certified shoulder specialists and sports medicine surgeons can transform your painful shoulder injury into a normal, functioning, and pain-free shoulder.
The three most common methods of rotator cuff repair are open repair, all-arthroscopic repair, and mini-open repair. Understanding these procedures and discussing them with your rotator cuff surgeon during your consultation is the best way to establish which method is best for your needs.
Open Rotator Cuff Surgery
Open repair was the first successful method of rotator cuff surgery and is still widely used as a means to restore shoulder function. This method is generally used by older, less experienced surgeons who have not become familiar with the latest arthroscopic technology. The open procedure requires splitting the deltoid muscle which can cause more pain and prolong patient recovery.
During this procedure, an incision is made over the shoulder that can be several centimeters long, depending on the severity of the tear of the tendon. The shoulder muscle is then detached in order to better view the problem area. From there, the tendons are repaired and reattached to humerus arm bone, using implants to reinforce the connection.
Gotham City Orthopedics surgeons perform all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, which are minimally invasive same-day surgeries where the patients go home in a sling later that day.
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is less invasive than the open rotator cuff surgery and is considered the least invasive rotator cuff surgery technique. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is performed using a tiny camera, called an arthroscope, that is inserted into your shoulder joint. With the camera as a guide, the surgeon then uses miniature instruments to repair the torn tendon.
Due to the minimally invasive nature of the all-arthroscopic repair, patients are usually able to go home the same day and recover much faster than with open rotator cuff surgery.
Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Repair
The mini-open repair is a method that takes advantage of newer technologies and instruments to repair the rotator cuff through a smaller incision than the traditional open surgery. Using an arthroscope to access and treat the damaged rotator cuff and structures, some repairs are done without the need to detach the shoulder muscle. Once these repairs are finished, the surgeon then completes the procedure through the mini-open incision, viewing the tear directly instead of through the camera and video monitor.
This method may be said to be a combination of traditional open surgery and all-arthroscopic surgery.
Schedule a Rotator Cuff Repair
To learn more about rotator cuff surgery, schedule a consultation at any of our 5 convenient locations in New York City and New Jersey. During your appointment, our sports medicine doctors will perform a few exams to determine if this procedure is right for you. Our main goal is to help you regain function of your painful or unusable shoulder. Our experienced and board-certified rotator cuff surgeons are eager to help you recover from shoulder pain. No matter the time or day of the week, don't hesitate to contact us.