When you’re active, a shoulder injury is the last thing you need. This is especially true if you’re an avid athlete and don’t have time to miss practices, much less games.
Rotator cuff injuries are a common sports injury, and if not treated properly, they can sideline you for months. With arthroscopic surgery, however, your recovery could be much quicker.
At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, we’re ready to help you get back to your active life after a shoulder injury. We have an amazing team of orthopedic surgeons and specialists who offer you the care you need when dealing with a rotator cuff injury.
Signs of a rotator cuff tear
Your rotator cuff is a vital part of your shoulder joint; it helps keep your shoulder together and allows movement of your arm. It’s made up of four different muscles:
- Teres minor
They cover the top of your humerus and then attach to your shoulder blade. This allows you to lift up your arm and rotate it in different directions. So as you can imagine, when you tear one of these tendons, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Pain in your shoulder at night
- Pain when lying on the affected shoulder
- Weakness in the affected shoulder
- Discomfort when lifting your shoulder
- Cracking sensation when moving your arm
Smaller rotator cuff tears might not cause much pain, but you might notice trouble moving the affected arm. However, large rotator cuff tears usually lead to not only pain, but difficulty using the affected arm at all.
What is arthroscopic surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that allows our surgeons to see inside your joint with only a few tiny incisions. In the past, repairing a rotator cuff meant undergoing an open surgery — meaning a large incision and long recovery time.
However, with medical advances, arthroscopic surgery allows the same results as the traditional open surgery, with less complications and recovery time. So how does this amazing procedure work?
To perform an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, our surgeons make a few tiny incisions in your shoulder. They then insert an arthroscope, which has a tiny light and camera attached to it, into your shoulder.
The arthroscope allows our surgeons to see the inside your shoulder joint on a screen in the operating room. There’s also saline going into your shoulder at the same time, allowing a better picture of your shoulder joint on the screen.
Once our surgeons visualize the tear in your rotator cuff, they insert tiny surgical instruments to make repairs. Surgical sutures or anchors may be used to reattach the muscles to the bones in your joint.
Arthroscopic surgery: The best option
Arthroscopic surgery is the best option for treatment of a severe rotator cuff tear because it has the ability to restore function without the severe complications of open surgery. Because it’s minimally invasive, you’ll also experience less pain than with open surgery. Other advantages include:
- Minimal blood loss
- Less damage to surrounding tissues
- Less pain after surgery
- Decreased risk of infection
- Less noticeable scars
Our team of orthopedic surgeons evaluates the severity of your rotator cuff tear to determine if arthroscopic surgery is right for you. Not every rotator cuff injury is able to be fixed via arthroscopic surgery, but if it’s an option, it’s the best one for a speedy and efficient recovery.
Don’t let a rotator cuff tear keep you from the activities you love any longer than necessary. Call one of our conveniently located offices, two in Daly City and one in Atherton, California, or book an appointment online with one of our doctors today.