Rotator cuff repair - series

Normal anatomy

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that form a cuff over the shoulder. These muscles and tendons hold the arm in its "ball and socket" joint and are involved in essentially all shoulder motions.

Normal anatomy

Indications

The role of the tendons is to hold the powerful shoulder muscles to the shoulder and arm bones. The tendons can be torn from overuse or injury.

Indications

Procedure

Either through an open incision or using small instruments through tiny incisions (arthroscopy), the tendon is repaired with sutures. If the tendon is separated from the bone, small rivets called suture anchors are used to attach the tendon back to the bone.

Procedure

Aftercare

Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff is usually very successful at relieving pain in the shoulder. The procedure is less predictable at returning strength to the shoulder. Recovery time often depends on the extent of the tear.

Aftercare

Revision

Last reviewed 6/30/2011 by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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