PreOp

Rotator Cuff Repair Open
Center: Orthopedic
Run Time: 3:39

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Your doctor has recommended that you have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. But what does that actually mean?

Rotator cuff is the term given to describe a group of four tendons that work together to support and stabilize the shoulder joint.
Each tendon connects muscle to bone.

When a shoulder muscles contracts, it pulls on a tendon which in turn pulls on the upper arm bone and causes it to move.

When one or more of these tendons become damaged, the arm loses strength and mobility.

After you are unconscious, your doctor will make a vertical incision on your shoulder.

Skin and other tissue will be pulled back in order to expose the shoulder's muscles.

These will also be pulled aside to expose the shoulder joint and tendons.

Under the deltoid muscle lies the bursa, a protective sac that prevents the rotator cuff tendons and the shoulder muscles from rubbing against each other.

Your doctor will remove the bursa to gain access to the damaged tendons.

Next, the surgeon will cut away any scar tissue or unhealthy tissue around the torn area.

Using sutures, the tear can now be repaired.

Before closing, the deltoid muscle is returned to its proper position and the skin is rejoined and sutured.

Finally, a sterile bandage is applied. In order to keep the shoulder muscle immobile while it heals, you will be given a sling to wear.
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