The Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles surrounding and commonly attaching at the shoulder joint. The function of this group of muscles is to provide added joint stability, as well as the power to elevate and rotate the arm in synchronous motion.
The normal aging process causes the ends of the muscles near their attachment site (tendons) to thin and ultimately weaken, leading to partial or complete tears, also known as rotator cuff tears. Sometimes rotator cuff tears may occur with minimal or no trauma. In the younger patient a partial or complete rupture more normally is seen with notable trauma. Rotator cuff tears are typically located at the near the tendonous connection to the bone.
A complete tear of the rotator cuff muscles results in a failure of the tissues to heal. Allowing the tear to be left unattended allows for further progression of the tear with additional loss of motion and power, usually with increasing shoulder pain. Results of shoulder arthroscopic surgery are likely to be better with a smaller tear than a larger tear and this lends a stronger argument to repairing this type of tear sooner rather than later.
A torn rotator cuff will usually manifest with severe pain upon elevation of the arm, a loss in motion and strength, and increased pain at night. Ultimately the patient may lose a significant amount of shoulder mobility and necessitate shoulder joint surgery.
Shoulder arthroscopic surgery has demonstrated good results in cases where the tear is small to moderate in size but the results in larger tears are not as good as demonstrated in an open approach. The rehabilitation may prove to be less arduous if the procedure is done as a minimally invasive shoulder surgery.
The goal of arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair shoulder joint surgery is to provide a repair of the torn muscle and reattach it to the bone. An arthroscopic Rotator Cuff repair is a fairly major operation which has a six month rehabilitation period. The results are generally very good but even an excellent result does not give you a completely normal shoulder.
For more information on how the shoulder joint surgery specialists at Cary Orthopaedics can help you, contact us today at 919-467-4992 for an appointment!
Cary Orthopaedics serves patients from Raleigh, Garner, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Clayton, Chapel Hill, and Pittsboro, NC