Learn more about this minimally invasive shoulder surgery
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair overview
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is used to inspect and reattach torn tendons in the shoulder’s rotator cuff. The initial part of this shoulder surgery is performed arthroscopically through small tubes. In some cases, open shoulder surgery may be needed to repair large tears.
Flow of the arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery
The shoulder surgeon inserts a small video camera called an arthroscope through tiny incisions in the shoulder to inspect the damaged joint.
The surgeon removes any loose fragments of tendon or other debris from the damaged cuff tendon in the joint. This procedure, called debridement, is usually performed arthroscopically. Afterward, the surgeon inspects the tissue damage in the joint and determines if more surgery is needed.
Acromion may be smoothed
If bone spurs have formed on the bottom of the acromion, the surgeon uses a rasp-like tool to smooth the area. This is called subacromial decompression, or smoothing, and will keep the acromion from pinching down on the supraspinatus tendon. It is usually done arthroscopically.
Rotator cuff inspected
If no tear is found in the rotator cuff area, the shoulder surgery may end here. If the surgeon finds a torn rotator cuff tendon, the type of repair needed is based on the size and severity of the tear. Small to moderate tears may be repaired arthroscopically. Open rotator cuff surgery may be needed to repair large tears. First, the torn end of the tendon is cleaned up. Next, an area on the humerus is cleared.
The surgeon uses a drill or sharp tool to create one or more small holes in the bone. Anchors are then placed into the holes. The anchors hold stitches in place on the arm bone.
The tear in the tendon is stitched together. The sutures are pulled tightly against the anchors, reattaching the tendon to the humerus.
End of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair
After rotator cuff surgery, the arm is usually placed in a sling. Physical therapy will be needed to regain full range of motion and increased shoulder strength. Over time, the tendon will naturally reattach itself to the humerus bone.
Multiple shoulder injuries are hard to play through, especially for sports enthusiasts who are used to being constantly on the move and active. David Apel had an appointment with Dr. Armin Tehrany after his mountain biking accident that resulted in multiple shoulder injuries. David had suffered an AC joint displacement, torn ligaments, a partially detached […]
Choosing the right orthopedic doctor can be a real challenge. Oftentimes, the choice is restricted by the insurance plan, making it even harder to find the professional who will carefully listen to patient’s needs and completely devote themselves to providing a successful treatment. Leila Gutierrez wasn’t completely satisfied with her first orthopedic doctor. Due to […]
About The Author
Dr. Armin Tehrany is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally
management techniques of knee and shoulder injuries and conditions in NYC. He is an
Surgeon and serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s
of Orthopedic Surgery. His specialist knowledge, expertise, and best practice methods of
knee and shoulder treatment are recognized by the many awards received throughout his