Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

  • The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons in the shoulder which allow you to lift and/or rotate your arm
  • An injury such as a fall may result in a tear in the rotator cuff
  • More often, and especially in older patients, a tear can occur without injury
  • This is at the extreme end of the spectrum of disorders sometimes referred to as “rotator cuff syndrome”
  • Symptoms include pain and weakness in the arm, especially with elevation and rotation
  • Surgery may be required if the tear is large or has not responded to a period of rest (in the case of a small tear)
  • The operation is performed arthroscopically (“keyhole” or minimally invasive surgery) under general anaesthetic
  • The procedure involves a repair of the torn tendon(s) using special sutures which are anchored to the underlying bone
  • An arm sling is worn for comfort and protection afterwards (the protection phase)
  • An essential component of a successful rotator cuff repair is rehabilitation, and physiotherapy is started as soon as the protection phase is complete
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