Rotator Cuff Tears: Partial or Complete Injury
- Tender, sore shoulder during shoulder activity
- Difficulty raising arm above head
- Pain at night in affected shoulder
What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?
A Rotator Cuff Tear is an injury to 1 or more of the 4 muscle tendons that attach to the upper arm (humerus). A tendon can be partially torn (not completely severed) or completely torn (the tendon and muscle are no longer attached to the bone). The 4 rotator cuff muscles act to raise the arm out to the side and rotate the arm inwards and outwards. Some common causes of rotator cuff tears include repetitive injuries such as repetitive overhead movements, throwing/pitching injuries, weightlifting injuries (especially heavy bench press), or traumatic injuries such as falling or trying to catch a heavy object.
Depending on the severity of your injury, mild cases of Rotator Cuff Tears may be treated with rest, anti-inflammatories, therapy, biologic augmentation injections, and/or cortisone injections. In mild cases, simply resting the shoulder can be very effective for pain relief. While non-surgical treatment can relieve mild cases of the condition, surgery may be necessary for more severe cases.
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair (Minimally Invasive)
Orthopaedic surgeons Dr. John Hoffman, Dr. Tuvi Mendel, and Dr. Tyson Cobb perform arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair surgery as a minimally invasive method of reattaching the torn rotator cuff tendon to the humeral head. During surgery, small incisions are made through which an arthroscope (small video camera) is inserted into your shoulder joint to allow your surgeon to view the surgery on a monitor. Special instrumentation is used to suture the torn rotator cuff tendon(s) to the proper location. This technique results in smaller incisions, less scarring, less pain, and faster recovery than for the open surgical procedure.
Traditional Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery
The open Rotator Cuff Repair surgery requires an open incision and detachment of the deltoid (shoulder) muscle to see and have open access to the torn tendon. Then, the surgeon removes any bone spurs in the area. This method is use when arthroscopic technique alone is unable to address the problems, such as in large retracted cuff tears.