An Overview of Rotator Cuff Surgery: Risks & Recovery

Orthopedic surgeons in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and Queen Creek often recommend surgery in order to successfully treat and repair a torn rotator cuff. This is especially paramount if the injury to the rotator cuff is very severe, and/or non-surgical options and treatments are not sufficiently improving the movement and strength of the shoulder.

Out of the three main surgical treatments that are performed for this particular injury, Arthroscopic surgery is the most common and preferable to orthopedic surgeons as well as the patients. In some cases however, mini-open shoulder surgery is required to successfully repair a rotator cuff tear.

Why Is Rotator Cuff Surgery Performed

The surgical procedure is done when:Rotator Cuff Tear

  • A sudden injury causes the rotator cuff to tear
  • Rotator cuff is completely torn, causing severe shoulder weakness
  • Rotator cuff hasn’t improved in condition, after 3-6 months of physical therapy or other non-surgical treatments.
  • The patient has an overall good physical condition to recover easily and quickly from the surgery, after committing to a full rehabilitation program.

What to Expect After Surgery

Many people try to stay away from surgery and opt for other treatment methods that are non-surgical, but while there is a success rate for such treatment methods too; if the tear is serious, then surgery will be needed to treat it effectively.

After the surgery, physical therapy will be prescribed by the doctor for a smooth and successful recovery. A typical rehabilitation program may be as follows:

  • As soon as the patient wakes up after the surgery, some light exercises are done that extend and flex the wrist, elbow, and hand.
  • After a day passes, the physical therapist may help the patient move the operated joint through its normal range of movement.
  • With the assistance of the physical therapist, active exercise may start 6-8 weeks after surgery.
  • After a few months, the patient will be taught strengthening exercises.

Risks and Complications Associated With Surgery

This is a fact that all surgical procedures carry some amount of risk, either during the surgery or after it. This doesn’t mean that opting for rotator cuff surgery is a bad option, as the success rates of this procedure are very high. Of course; when it comes to addressing risks and complications, your orthopedic surgeon will do everything necessary to minimize the risks associated with your rotator cuff surgery.

Following is a list of the common complications that are a byproduct of almost all surgical procedures:Shoulder Arthroscopy

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve Injury
  • Unsightly Scarring

The risks and complications that arise; largely depend on the type of surgery and also, on how badly damaged the area is. Before starting any procedure, you will be required to sign on a document of consent which means that as a patient, you understand the risks and trust the doctor performing the procedure to deliver the best results.

The expert orthopedic doctors at OSPI are highly skilled in minimally invasive rotator cuff repair. Patients are seen from all over the East Valley including Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, Casa Grande, Maricopa and surrounding areas. Call today!

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