For some patients, surgery remains the only option when symptoms of a rotator cuff tear become too severe. Thankfully surgical treatment options have advanced in recent years to make the procedure, recovery, and rehabilitation easier than ever before.
A group of tendons create the rotator cuff that surrounds the shoulder joint and allows for the shoulder to participate in a number of movements and functions. If one or more of those tendons should become injured, a rotator cuff tear may occur. Typically, patients express feelings of pain and loss of strength, movement, and sleep.
Dr. D. David Ernst, orthopedic surgeon at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron who specializes in the treatment and care of shoulder injuries states, “Most patients will successfully complete conservative treatment options, however, others may have to consider surgical treatment options to relieve discomfort and return to regular activities.”
Traditionally, open rotator cuff repair was the surgical option for a rotator cuff tear when conservative treatment options were unsuccessful. Making an incision on the outside of the shoulder, 10-12 centimeters in length, the surgeon would separate shoulder muscles to expose the rotator cuff for repair. However, a procedure of this magnitude caused a significant amount of pain and usually remained an issue following recovery.
Fortunately as years passed, the latest development in the surgical procedure has advanced in technique and requires a smaller incision, about 1 centimeter in length. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair incorporates the use of a small camera to view the joint and its tendons and small instruments to perform the repair of tendons all while viewing the procedure on a television monitor.
Dr. Ernst shares, “Surgeons are always developing ways to reduce problems associated with surgical procedures. So far, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair has proved successful in helping to reduce recovery pain. The type of procedure varies per patient, so open rotator cuff repair might be the best option for some patients.”
A rotator cuff tear is not the only cause of shoulder pain. If you have been experiencing pain in your shoulder and would like to find out more about the treatment options available, contact Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron.
To consult with one of our doctors at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron, please call (810) 985-4900 or click on the Appointment Request button.