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Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: All You Need to Know

Rotator cuff injuries can cause severe pain and weakness. They are caused by small tears in the tendons and tissues around the shoulder. Sometimes the injury will heal without surgical intervention, but if the damage is significant, it may be required to prevent permanent damage. 

What is a rotator cuff repair? It is often repaired arthroscopically. The surgeon will make small incisions to insert a camera called an arthroscope into the joint along with small surgical instruments. The camera allows the surgeon to visualize the joint on a television screen to help guide the repair. 

Patients can generally expect approximately four to six months before pain is reduced and movement is restored after the surgery. Patients need to know that they must restrict shoulder movement for several weeks. Physical therapy is also necessary to have the best possible outcome. 

Why do Patients Need to Have a Rotator Cuff Repair?

How does the damage happen to begin with? Usually, it is caused by the repetition of movements or a sudden injury. Rotator cuff tears can involve more than one muscle or tendon, and tears can be partial or complete. Without treatment, symptoms worsen over time. 

Here are some common symptoms of rotator cuff tears:

  • Pain when lifting and lowering the arm
  • Pain at rest
  • Limited range of motion
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • A cracking sound or sensation 

The main reason patients elect surgery is due to pain and diminished mobility. Patients may try non-surgical treatments, such as rehabilitation, medications, or injections first. If these methods are ineffective, surgery is an option to repair the tear and surrounding tissues. 

Patients who have surgery find relief from these symptoms after recovery from an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. 

What are the Benefits of an Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair? 

There are several benefits to having an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair instead of open surgery. The surgery is both safe and effective. Almost all arthroscopic repairs can be completed outpatient at a surgery center. 

Benefits to arthroscopic repairs include:

  • Decreased risk of infection
  • Decreased pain
  • Less chance of damage to surrounding tissues 
  • Restored mobility
  • Less healing time

Because of these factors, patients can generally return to activities of daily living much faster with an arthroscopic procedure. 

How Can I Have a Successful Recovery after an Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair?

Expect that it will take four to six weeks for the repair to heal after surgery and up to six months for a full recovery. Arm slings are necessary for several weeks after surgery to limit mobility. Based on how the shoulder is healing, your surgeon will advise when it is no longer required. 

To have the best possible recovery, follow all aftercare instructions from your surgeon. In addition, patients need to keep follow-up appointments so the surgeon can assess healing. Patients also need to participate in physical therapy and regularly do the exercise at home as instructed. 

Why You Should Choose our Outpatient Surgery Center in Panther Creek

Orthopedic Surgery Center Panther Creek is a team of surgeons who are experts in the diagnosis and treatment across the spectrum of orthopedic injuries and disease. 

Our team consists of board-certified fellowship-trained surgeons who work with you on the best treatment plan tailored to your needs. We use cutting-edge technology at our outpatient surgery center in Cary to minimize pain and maximize mobility after your procedure. 

For additional information, contact our surgery center at 919-582-3050. We look forward to being your partner for all your orthopedic needs. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

outpatient orthopedic surgery cary
6715 McCrimmon Parkway
Suite 205 A 
Cary, NC 27519
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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