Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Q & A
What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that work together to keep the ball-like head of the shoulder joint within the socket, or cup portion of the joint, enabling the joint to function properly and facilitating a normal range of motion and strength.
What are the most common types of rotator cuff injuries?
Most rotator cuff injuries occur as a result of sports activities, slip and fall accidents, or other types of trauma, including car accidents. These injuries can cause partial or complete tears in the tendons or muscles. Other causes of injury include inflammation of the tendons or bursa, small sacs of fluid within the joint, and calcific tendinitis, which occurs when calcium builds up in the joint. Repetitive use of the joint, such as jobs that require regular heavy lifting, is another common cause of injury.
What is arthroscopic rotator cuff repair?
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a minimally-invasive approach to shoulder surgery that uses special instruments designed to work within small incisions. An arthroscope is a device that has a tiny camera at one end. When the scope is inserted through an incision and into the joint, it can take video of the inside of the joint and send images back to a monitor where they can be viewed. Procedures can also be performed using the arthroscope. Arthroscopic surgery is generally preferred compared to traditional open incision techniques since smaller incisions result in faster healing and fewer complications. However, not all rotator cuff injuries can be repaired arthroscopically.
Am I a good candidate for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair?
A comprehensive examination of your shoulder joint including diagnostic imaging of the joint will be able to determine if an arthroscopic approach is the best choice for your needs.