What is Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair?
Rotator cuff repair is a procedure in which a torn tendon in the shoulder is repaired. To perform arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, your doctor will make three small, button-hole sized incisions in the area around the shoulder.
When a shoulder muscle 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.
What to Expect
To perform arthroscopic surgery your doctor will make three small, button-hole sized incisions in the area around the shoulder. An arthroscope is essentially a very small video camera that your doctor will use to guide the surgery.
Before your doctor can insert the arthroscope, the surgical team will inject a clear fluid into the joint. This fluid will inflate the interior space around the surgical site and will help your doctor by providing an unobstructed view and enough room in which to work. Your doctor will insert the arthroscope and inspect the surgical site.
If they proceed with the arthroscopic procedure, other small surgical instruments will be inserted through the other small openings.
First, your doctor will use a burr file to file away any rough edges on upper part of the shoulder bone called the acromion.
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.
Using a shaving instrument, you doctor will cut away 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.
One instrument places the sutures and a second instrument fixes them in place.
When the repair is complete, the instruments are removed and the clear fluid is allowed to drain from the shoulder.
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.