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Advancing Rotator Cuff Repair

Forming the rotator cuff is a group of tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. Those tendons allow the shoulder to perform movements and functions. If one or more of those tendons is injured, a rotator cuff tear may occur. When that happens, patients typically express feelings of pain and loss of strength, movement, and sleep.

“When conservative treatment options have been exhausted, surgical treatment options may be necessary to relieve discomfort and pain in the shoulder and return the patient to his or her regular activities,” explains Dr. Bojan B. Zoric, shoulder surgeon at Sports Medicine North.

Traditionally, open rotator cuff repair has been the preferred surgical option for a rotator cuff tear when conservative treatment options are unsuccessful. Making an incision on the outside of the shoulder, 10-12 centimeters in length, the surgeon would separate shoulder muscles to expose the rotator cuff for repair. However, this approach to rotator cuff repair causes a significant amount of pain and requires a lengthy recovery process.

Fortunately, the rotator cuff repair procedure has advanced in technique and now requires a much smaller incision, about one centimeter in length. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair incorporates the use of a small camera (to view the joint and its tendons) and small instruments (to perform the repair of tendons) and allows the surgeon to view the procedure on a television monitor.

“Surgeons are continually developing ways to reduce problems associated with surgical procedures,” explains Dr. Zoric. “So far, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair has proven successful in helping to reduce recovery pain and shorten the rehabilitation process.”

The type of procedure required varies based on each patient’s needs. If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, contact the doctors at Sports Medicine North by calling (978) 309-3066.

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