Rotator Cuff Repair

Rotator Cuff Repair

A torn rotator cuff is a painful condition that can occur in the tendons around your shoulder joint. If you live in Bethesda, Maryland, the experienced team at OrthoBethesda is here to ensure you get the best treatment available. Our surgeons are highly qualified to provide precision care to repair your torn rotator cuff and help you regain a full range of motion.


What Is a Torn Rotator Cuff?

Connecting muscle to the bone around your shoulder joint is a group of tendons called the rotator cuff. These supportive tissues provide incredible support, allowing for a wide range of motion. If a major injury occurs to these tendons, it may result in a tear, a condition known as a torn rotator cuff.

A rotator cuff tear is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain, especially among those who are middle-aged or older. This injury often occurs because of repeated use of the arm for overhead activities, such as playing sports. However, torn rotator cuffs are also a common injury that can happen due to motor vehicle accidents.

Some of the symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Severe pain
  • Arm weakness
  • Loss of movement
  • A crackling sensation during movement of the shoulder
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness toward the front of the shoulder

Diagnosis and Treatment for a Torn Rotator Cuff

If you’re experiencing severe pain in your shoulder, it’s time to make an appointment at OrthoBethesda. Our team will determine the cause of your pain and develop an individualized treatment plan.

The best way to diagnose a rotator cuff tear is with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This diagnostic tool allows us to view your torn rotator cuff and determine the best course of action.

In many cases, you can gain relief from your symptoms through conservative treatment options, including:

  • Rest
  • A shoulder sling
  • Pain medication
  • Steroidal injections
  • Certain exercises
  • Physical therapy

For severe cases, however, we may need to use a surgical alternative to reaffix the tendon to the shoulder bone. Traditionally, surgery to repair the rotator cuff has been accomplished through a large shoulder incision, approximately six to 10 centimeters in length. However, today, advanced surgical techniques allow us to repair the rotator cuff while minimizing pain and shortening the recovery period.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

At OrthoBethesda, we offer arthroscopic rotator cuff repair as a minimally invasive surgical option. After making tiny incisions, we use an arthroscope — which is a small, fiber-optic viewing instrument — as well as small surgical instruments to complete the procedure. A video camera attached to the arthroscope displays the shoulder joint on a TV screen, allowing our surgeon to view the cartilage, ligaments and rotator cuff clearly. They can then determine the extent of the injury and repair the rotator cuff.

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair has many benefits over open shoulder surgery, such as:

  • Outpatient care
  • Minimal trauma to soft tissue
  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced pain
  • Faster healing time
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Less scarring
  • Earlier mobilization

Further Reading

Can You Drive After a Rotator Cuff Repair?

When Not To Have Rotator Cuff Surgery


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Learn About Your Rotator Cuff Treatment Options at OrthoBethesda

If you’ve been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff or you’re struggling with shoulder pain, contact Bethesda’s own OrthoBethesda. Our team of highly trained orthopedic surgeons will be able to treat musculoskeletal issues of all kinds, including a rotator cuff tear. We’ll discuss all options with you ahead of time to come up with a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and needs. You can also call us at (301) 530-1010 to schedule your appointment.