After a diagnosis is obtained following physical examination and image testing, the evaluating physician will have a better perspective of the extent of the rotator cuff injury.
If the damage is limited, surgery will not be required, and a conservative approach will be recommended to alleviate symptoms and regain proper joint use. Conservative treatment options include:
When symptoms fail to subside following non-invasive methods, surgical intervention may be the only option to repair an injured rotator cuff. This type of procedure is typically suggested if:
Depending on the rotator cuff injury's severity, location, and size, the evaluating physician and surgeon will recommend the most appropriate surgical procedure to repair the damage. Patients will be under general anesthesia during the operation or will be administered a regional anesthetic and experience no discomfort or pain.
The most common surgical interventions for rotator cuff injuries are:
Anchors made out of a dissolvable material and stitches may be used to help attach the tendon to the bone. After the operation is done, the surgeon closes every incision and applies a dressing.
Since the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, patients can return home on the same day and begin the road to recovery. The surgeon will provide pain relief medication to address post-op discomfort. However, it is recommended to have a designated driver following surgery and ensure that assistance can be provided for activities that will become challenging due to shoulder immobilization.