Rotator Cuff Surgery – Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery Procedure:
Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body. It is held in place by a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff.
Because of your shoulder’s high mobility, it is also sensitive to acute and chronic lesions that could cause pain or limited mobility and range of motion. Some of these lesions could damage or rupture the muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff.
During the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision on your shoulder. Through the incision, he will insert a small camera to assess your shoulder’s internal condition. After visualizing the damage, your surgeon will decide if your problem can be resolved through a minimally invasive procedure, or through a traditional approach such as open surgery.
The procedure could be very simple, or it could be complex depending on the specific causes of your injury. If your muscle or tendon is ruptured, the surgeon will either have to reattach it to the bone, or insert a graft.
Once your surgery is completed, your shoulder will be held in place by a brace. The brace will protect your shoulder from moving around until is safe to do so. Depending on your specific case, your orthopedic surgeon may advise you about other treatment options.
Length of the procedure: 1.5 to 2 hours.
Hospital Stay: Outpatient or overnight depending on your particular condition.
Recovery before travelling home: Patients should expect to fly home approximately 10 days after discharge.
When do I know I need Rotator cuff repair surgery:
• Pain, especially when extending your arm overhead
• Limited range of motion and weakness, or chronic luxation (dislocation)
• A bone spur or inflammation around the rotator cuff
• Acute rupture due to injury
Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery - Procedure Details:
The shoulder joint is one of the most important articulations in your body. It is called a universal joint as it can move in any direction. The shoulder joint is held in place by a group of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a complex support system that is attached to all of the bones in the shoulder.
This procedure can be performed under general anesthesia or an area block with sedation. The choice of anesthesia will be based on your preference and particular risk. The anesthesiologist will also discuss with you particular approaches to pain management for the immediate period after the surgery.
During the procedure the orthopedic surgeon will make several incisions (about ½ inch each) from the back to the front in your shoulder. He will use these small holes to access your shoulder joint, clean, and repair the damage.
Once your surgeon can visualize the shoulder joint, he will then use special instruments to clean the articulation of debris and inflammation tissue. After cleaning, the surgeon will assess the size and location of the tear and prepare the appropriate area for anchoring the sutures used to repair your damaged muscles and/or tendons.
You will leave the operating room with bandages to protect your surgical incision. You might also have a special support to immobilize your shoulder(s).
After the Rotator Cuff Surgery Procedure:
When you wake up:
• Foley catheter: A Foley catheter may have been used during the surgery. The Foley catheter is a tube that is put into your bladder to drain your urine. It is important to drain your urine in order to avoid unnecessary complications.
• Deep breathing: In order to avoid complications from the surgery your lungs need to “exercise”. This is accomplished by deep breathing in a series of 10 breaths every hour. Your physician may prescribe a spirometer to help you in the process.
• Prevent Deep Venous Thrombosis:DVT is a very serious complication. Because you are lying down for long periods of time the blood in your legs will become static and will have a tendency to form clots. There are several ways to help prevent DVT: medications, compression stockings, or pneumatic boots. Once you are recovering your doctor can prescribe special exercises for you to perform at home.
• Medications: Although every case is different, below are some of the medications your doctor may prescribe while you are in the hospital. The nursing staff should explain the benefits, risks and alternatives to medication:
• Antibiotics: They will help you reduce the risk of infection.
• Anti-clotting medicines: They can help decrease the risk of DVT
• Antinausea medicine: Anesthesia can give you nausea. The medication will help you feel better during your recovery.
• Pain medication: After the surgery you should receive a pain management plan. This plan may include oral or injectable medications, a catheter place on your spine or a pump to deliver medications to your system .Even when you have undergone a major surgery, pain should be minimal.
• Stool softeners: Will make bowel movements easier.
• Sleep inducers: Will enable you to sleep comfortably through your first few nights. A good night of sleep often helps to speed up recovery.
• Physical therapy: You should start physical therapy as soon as possible. Your therapist will encourage you to progressively increment from passive to active weight bearing exercises. The goal is to avoid as much muscle wasting as possible.
• Ice/Heat: This is a well-known therapy that helps reduce inflammation and promote healing. Your surgeon or physical therapist will provide you with instructions for both types of therapy. Ice treatment is usually limited to 15-20 minutes per session in order to avoid frost bite. Heat therapy can be applied for longer periods of time.
Results of Rotator Cuff Repair:
The success rate for rotator cuff repair is very high and most patients experience substantial relief from their shoulder pain. To fully regain your strength on your shoulders , however, most patients require long-term physical therapy.
Risks and Alternatives to Treatment:
• Blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT)
• Stiffening of the shoulders
• Nerve damage
• Both open and laparoscopic surgery have different success rates which depend on the type of damage and the surgeon’s experience and training. You should discuss with your surgeon the best option for your specific case.
Contact your physician if:
• The skin around your stitches is hot, red, swollen, or oozing
• You have a high fever or feel like you are getting a cold
• You have any questions or concerns.
If you are interested in rotator cuff repair surgery, fill out our no obligation contact form and request more information. You can also call 1-866-665-6433 Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm MDT and speak to an orthopedic surgery consultant. You can also request to speak to the surgeon if you have any questions or doubts.
You can also call and allow one of our orthopedic procedure consultants help you arrange an all-inclusive trip to help you save even more money. By traveling to Costa Rica, you will receive quality treatment in state-of-the-art facilities, and you will save big in the process!