Surgery for a rotator cuff tear may be necessary when nonsurgical approaches have been tried but failed to help you alleviate persistent pain and weakness in the shoulder. If you find yourself still grappling with discomfort and limited functionality despite non-invasive treatments, it may be time to consider surgery. See what to expect on this page: https://www.artisanorthopaedics.sg/surgery/rotator-cuff-repair.
A typical indication is experiencing night-time pain and struggling with arm movements involving lifting and reaching. These symptoms often indicate the severity of the tear and the need for more extensive intervention.
With surgery, you can address the underlying issue and repair the damaged tissue. Most importantly, you can regain the full range of motion to resume your daily activities with improved shoulder function.
So, what are the 3 Types of Rotator Cuff Repair?
When you check in for rotator cuff repair, a skilled orthopaedic surgeon will assess your condition thoroughly to determine the most suitable orthopaedic surgery for you. They will consider factors like;
- The extent of the injury
- Your overall health, and
- Your specific needs
With their expertise and experience, they can make an informed decision regarding the type of surgery for you. The selected surgery type for rotator cuff repair should yield the best outcomes and help restore your musculoskeletal function effectively. Here are the three types of rotator cuff repair surgeries;
Traditional Open Repair
The traditional open repair is a surgical procedure preferred when dealing with a large or complex rotator cuff tear. It involves making a several-centimetres-long incision over the shoulder.
This allows the surgeon to detach the deltoid muscle to gain better visibility and access to the torn tendon. During this process, bone spurs on the underside of the acromion are often removed (known as acromioplasty).
Open repair is a suitable choice for extensive tears or intricate cases. It is also preferable when additional reconstruction, like tendon transfer, is necessary. While the open repair was the initial method for addressing rotator cuff tears, advancements in technology and surgeon expertise have since paved the way for less invasive procedures.
All-Arthroscopic Repair is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to repair a torn rotator cuff. The technique involves the use of an arthroscope.
This is a small camera inserted into the shoulder joint so the surgeon can visualize the structures with great detail on a video monitor. Thanks to this advanced technology, the surgeon can precisely guide miniature surgical instruments.
One of the major advantages of All-Arthroscopic Repair is that it requires only tiny incisions instead of the larger ones needed in traditional open surgery. This minimizes trauma to the surrounding tissues.
It also speeds up recovery and reduces post-operative pain. In most cases, All-Arthroscopic Repair can be performed on an outpatient basis.
This means that with this procedure, you may be allowed to return home on the same day of your treatment. It is considered the least invasive method for repairing a torn rotator cuff.
The mini-open repair is a modern approach to repairing a rotator cuff tear. It involves the use of advanced technology and instruments through a small incision.
Unlike traditional open surgery, this technique minimizes the size of the incision. The incisions typically range between 3 and 5 cm in length.
The procedure begins with arthroscopy, so the surgeon can assess and address any damage to other structures within the joint. For instance, bone spurs can be removed using arthroscopic techniques.
This helps eliminate the need to detach the deltoid muscle, and once the arthroscopic portion is completed, the surgeon proceeds to repair the rotator cuff through the mini-open incision. This step involves directly visualizing the shoulder structures rather than relying on a video monitor.
The combination of arthroscopy with the mini-open approach allows surgeons to accurately repair the damaged tendon. This leads to improved outcomes and recovery for patients with rotator cuff tears.
When not to have Rotator Cuff Surgery?
We get it, surgery may be ideal for many cases of rotator cuff tears. However, there are isolated instances where it may not be necessary or advisable.
That is why, it is very important to work with a knowledgeable orthopaedic surgeon who will take the time to determine if you’re a good candidate for rotator cuff repair surgery before proceeding. Here are the five instances when not to have rotator cuff surgery;
- If your shoulder shows significant improvement through physiotherapy and non-invasive treatments: In this instance, surgery may be unnecessary since it indicates that your body is responding well to conservative measures. So, further surgical intervention may not yield significant additional benefits.
- If you have a torn rotator cuff but do not experience pain: If the tear does not cause discomfort or hinder your daily activities, opting for surgery may not be essential. Keep in mind that not all rotator cuff tears result in pain. Painless tears can sometimes be managed effectively without surgical intervention.
- If you can perform your daily activities without significant limitations or discomfort: If your range of motion and strength is not significantly compromised, conservative management and regular monitoring may be more appropriate than surgery.
- Your willingness and ability to commit to the post-surgical physiotherapy program: Rotator cuff surgery typically requires a comprehensive rehabilitation program to optimize recovery and restore shoulder function. If find it difficult or just unwilling to follow through with the recommended physiotherapy, it may be wise to explore other alternative treatment options. It may also be best to delay surgery until you can fully engage in the necessary rehabilitation process.
- If you have other health conditions that could pose risks during surgery or impact your ability to recover: In these instances, it may be advisable to avoid surgery. Certain medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or compromised immune function are known to increase surgical risks. They can also prolong recovery. If you live with such health conditions, inform your surgeon. A good orthopaedic good surgeon will assess the potential risks and benefits of surgery in relation to your health status before proceeding. In fact, they may only proceed if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
Surgery for rotator cuff tears can improve the movement and strength of your shoulder. It can also help you manage the pain that comes with rotator cuff tears.
The technique that will be approved for you will depend on your condition. Notably, you should only proceed with surgery if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.
So, be sure to find a good orthopaedic surgeon who will help you determine if you’re suited for the procedures they may recommend before proceeding. If you’re looking for a surgeon for rotator cuff repair in Singapore, call or visit us at;
Artisan Sports & Orthopaedics Surgery
290 Orchard Road,
Paragon Medical Centre #07-12,
(65) 8909 8877