Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
What is an arthroscopic surgery?
An Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure where instead of making large incisions to view the tissues being worked on the surgeon will make a series of holes and fill the surgical area with liquid or gas. For a rotator cuff repair the joint will be filled with saline to expand the joint capsule In one entry point a camera will be inserted and in the others there will be tools used to cut, grind, debride, anchor, heat, stitch, and remove debris.
Rotator Cuff Repair Surgical Intervention
A rotator cuff tear most often occurs where the tendon attaches to the bone. There are a few options for repairing rotator cuff tears. Advancements in surgical techniques for rotator cuff repair include less invasive procedures such as arthroscopic repair.
Many surgical repairs can be done on an outpatient basis and do not require you to stay overnight in the hospital. Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss with you the best procedure to meet your individual health needs. You may have other shoulder problems in addition to a rotator cuff tear, such as osteoarthritis, bone spurs, or other soft tissue tears. During the operation, your surgeon may be able to take care of these problems, as well.
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Procedure
During arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your shoulder joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments. Because the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, your surgeon can use very small incisions (cuts), rather than the larger incision needed for standard, open surgery. All-arthroscopic repair is usually an outpatient procedure and is the least invasive method to repair a torn rotator cuff.
Arthroscopic surgery techniques
Further developments in the treatment of rotator cuff disease include newer arthroscopic surgical techniques. These allow more secure repairs that may improve the rate of tendon healing. Years ago, arthroscopes were used for exploratory diagnostic purposes, but currently the shoulder joint can be extensively repaired without opening up the shoulder joint. Frayed connective tissue can be excised with a suction driven blade assembly and tightened up with microwave emitting tool. Bone spurs can be ground off while the debris is suctioned out of the joint, and anchors can be inserted into bone and connective tissue can be connected to it. These days there are few limitations to what arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery can provide and many conditions can be fixed while performing the inital procedure, for example a rotator cuff may be repaired during a arthroscopic capsular release or vise-versa.
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What causes a rotator cuff tear?
Rotator cuff rips can develop as a result of acute trauma, such as a fall or lifting a large object, or as a result of progressive deterioration. Rotator cuff tears can also be caused by repetitive overhead activities, aging, and certain medical disorders.
What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?
Shoulder pain, weakness, reduced range of motion, trouble lifting or reaching upward, and a clicking or popping feeling in the shoulder are all common symptoms. The pain may be exacerbated at night or during specific motions.
How is a rotator cuff tear diagnosed?
A physical examination, symptom evaluation, and imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, or ultrasound are typically used to make a diagnosis. These examinations aid in determining the size, location, and severity of the tear.
What are the potential risks or complications associated with the procedure?
There are risks and problems, as with any surgical operation, such as infection, hemorrhage, blood clots, nerve or blood vessel injury, stiffness, weakness, or failure of the repair. Before undergoing surgery, it is critical to address these risks with your surgeon.