Rotator Cuff Surgery
What is rotator cuff surgery?
If you have been suffering from shoulder pain for a prolonged period, or sudden injury has caused a torn rotator cuff, your doctor may suggest surgery as a suitable option. The rotator cuff refers to the group of tendons and muscles that play an important role in stabilising the shoulder joint. Wear and tear or repeated overuse can lead to irritation and painful symptoms, as the tendons then rub against the bone (known as impingement). If left untreated, the condition can worsen.
A partial tear may be treated by simply trimming the tendon. This is known as a debridement. It is usually performed arthroscopically and is more common in a weakened or damaged rotator cuff. A more acute tear caused by accident or sudden injury, is likely to require a complete reattachment of the tendon to the bone. Your doctor may also recommend a slight trimming of the shoulder bone to create space and improve the function and flexibility of the shoulder joint.
General recovery times
Rotator Cuff Surgery may be performed as open surgery or arthroscopically – a procedure involving tiny cuts. This is the least invasive method of repair and patients can usually leave hospital the same day, with the shoulder joint protected in a sling. For the first 4-6 weeks immobilisation is key to helping the tendon heal. After this stage, the goal is to improve the range of motion using passive exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist. You will then move on to active exercises, aimed at re-building strength in the supporting muscles and regaining form and function. A complete recovery may take 4-6 months, while larger tears can take over 6 months. Your recovery will depend very much on the size of the tear and in serious cases, recovery can take up to one year. Committing to the rehabilitation process is key to making a good recovery from Rotator Cuff Surgery.
Shoulder replacement approaches
How much will my shoulder surgery cost?
Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:
What will my treatment and recovery look like?
Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.