A rotator cuff is a group of tendons located in the joint of the shoulder which is responsible for giving the arms and the shoulder support as well as a range of motion. Due to an injury caused due to an accident or improper handling of the arms, the group of tendons can tear resulting in a condition called a rotator cuff tear. Rotator cuff tear is one of the most common problems in middle-aged adults which can cause shoulder pain, resulting in restricted movement of the arms and shoulders. Due to intense involve in activities requiring the use of arms like driving a car, playing sports, the tendon slowly starts to tear apart. Rotator cuff tears are problematic as they cause intense pain, crackling sensation, weakness or numbness in the arm. To view a rotator cuff tear, the doctor may use MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). After viewing your case closely, the doctor may suggest and go for the rotator cuff repair surgery.
Sometimes, even after non-surgical methods like exercising, physiotherapy fail to repair your torn rotator cuff, your doctor may recommend rotator cuff repair surgery as in order to treat the pain that still persists after the non-surgical methods of treatment. The following conditions may be seen as a consideration for you to go for a rotator cuff repair surgery.
• The main indication is the continued pain in the shoulder.
• If you regularly use your arms for exhausting activities like sports, then also you may need a rotator cuff repair surgery.
• Symptoms have persistently lasted for 6 to 12 months
• You have a large rotator cuff tear (more than 3 cm) and the quality of the surrounding tendon tissue is good in order to make the surgery successful.
• You have weakness in your shoulder, making it dysfunctional
• Your tear was recently caused by an acute injury
The three types of RCRS are:
• Open Rotator Cuff Repair
• Mini-open Rotator Cuff Repair
• Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery
All the above-mentioned rotator cuff surgeries give relief of pain, strength improvement, and function of the rotator cuff.
However, the doctor may consider the type of surgery depending on several factors like:
• Size of the rotator cuff tear
• Patient’s overall health
• The condition of the patient’s tendons, tissues, and bones
1. Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery:
As the name suggests, in the Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery, the surgeon makes open surgical incisions about a few centimetres around the shoulder area. The surgeon then separates the shoulder muscle in order to reach to the tendon to carry a repair surgery.
Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery is recommended for:
-People not so simple rotator cuff tear that cannot be repaired via simple surgeries.
-People who may need a tendon reconstruction surgery.
2. Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery is generally adopted for patients who have small or medium size rotator cuff tears (about 3 cm or smaller). It is the least invasive surgical procedure amongst all 3 mentioned above,
In the Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery, the doctor makes very small incisions, each about a centimetre long. Therefore the advantages of this kind of surgery for the patient are:
-Shorter time of healing and recovery
-Lesser side effects and complication
3. Mini-open Rotator Cuff Repair
Mini-open repair uses a combination of open surgery and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery techniques. The surgeon will use arthroscopy to assess the tear and remove loose cartilage. After which, he makes about an incision (1 to 5 inches long) in order to gather good access of the site of the rotator cuff tear.
Post the Rotator cuff repair surgery, the pain in the arms and the shoulder may not go away immediately. Recovery from the surgery can take a while. All this can be managed by enrolling in physiotherapy, rehabilitation programs and taking over good care of your health and body.