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Repairing Shoulder Tendons Through Surgery!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Pranjal Kodkani 88% (24 ratings)
M S Ortho, D - Ortho, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Orthopedist, Mumbai  •  21 years experience
Repairing Shoulder Tendons Through Surgery!

Repairing shoulder tendons through a telescope! When doctors talk about shoulder tendon repair, often they may be refering to rotator cuff surgery. The rotator cuff is a set of tendons and muscles that together form the cuff above the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff is responsible for stabilizing & keeping the arm within the joint, at the same time enabling the joint to move freely without any hindrance.

Thus it is responsible for maintaining strength of the shoulder. The tendons can become damaged due to injury or even overuse. When this occurs, the rotator cuff can be repaired with the help of surgery. Generally, a rotator cuff surgery makes use of an incision.

A shoulder arthroscopy, on the other hand, makes use of smaller incisions and repair is done with the help of a telescope.

Here are some of the commonly used techniques to repair a rotator cuff tear:

• When going for an open repair, the surgical incision is made and the deltoid gently moves out of the way making room to perform the surgery. Rarely an open repair method may prescribed for complex and larger tears or if any associated procedures are to be performed.

• In the case of the arthroscopy procedure, the small camera referred to as an arthroscope is put inside the small key hole incision that has already been made. The arthroscope, which connects to a video monitor, enables the surgeon to view the complete interior region of the shoulder. Further, few more incisions are made in order to allow insertion of various other instruments. During this surgical procedure, the damaged tissues are removed, or they are repaired depending on the damage levels. All of this is done with the help of an arthroscope.

Repairing the rotator cuff:

• In order to do so, the tendons need to be re-affixed to the bone.

• Small rivets referred to as suture anchors help to refasten the tendon and the bone. The suture is usually made of a special strong material that holds the repair for a long duration.

• The sutures are responsible for tying the tendon to the bone.

Why is this surgery recommended?

The physician recommends a rotator cuff tear or tendon surgery when the patient experiences pain while sleeping at night or faces difficulty carrying out daily physical activities, or when it has shown little improvement over the months in spite of exercising. This procedure is also recommended for people who lift heavy weights or are involved in sports activities. Moreover, the risks associated with this procedure are few and common to all surgical procedures.

A rotator cuff surgery performed arthroscopically has a very high success rate as it is performed under magnification. The procedure is far more precise than an open surgical procedure. Any associated injuries within the shoulder can be tackled simutaneously thus leaving very little room for errors. The recovery is therefore complete and faster due its minimally invasive nature.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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