Dr. Carlos Rebollón
Rotator Cuff Surgery in Panama
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Rotator Cuff Surgery
Rotator Cuff Surgery
It consists of a surgical procedure aimed at repairing damaged or torn tendons within the shoulder. This operation can be performed in two ways: through “open” surgery, which requires a large incision in the shoulder, or through arthroscopy, a “closed” and much less invasive alternative to the first option.
The rotator cuff is part of the shoulder joint system and is composed of a set of muscles and tendons that are responsible for keeping the upper part of the humerus in place and providing stability to the shoulder when movement is exerted in a certain direction.
SHOULDER TENDON REPAIR
Many shoulder tendon injuries are often caused by overloading the joint. In patients with mild conditions, recovery treatment can be given using traditional methods such as medication, injections, rest, physiotherapy, etc. However, when it is confirmed that there is an internal injury with tendon tears, damaged tissues, or bone spurs, the most recommended and long-lasting solution is to resort to surgery.
The main goal of a surgical intervention to effectively repair rotator cuff tears is to reattach the damaged tendons to the bone. Usually, these tendons are secured through various internal suture anchors (also known as “stitches”).
TYPES OF ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY
The diagnosis of the injury will determine the type of surgery that the patient requires based on the level of complexity found. As always, doctors seek the most suitable, safe, and least complicated method for the complete recovery of each patient. Some of the most frequent surgeries include:
With the help of a special instrument called an arthroscope, the doctor can access the inside of the shoulder cavity through tiny incisions. Through these openings, the arthroscope and various small tools will be inserted to reattach the tendon to the bone.
In more complex situations, it is necessary to resort to open surgery, which allows for a complete visualization of the injury and facilitates multiple tendon repairs for the doctor.
When the tendon has suffered significant damage and cannot be reattached to the bone, the doctor may suggest transferring a nearby tendon as a replacement.
This is one of the most innovative medical advances in the field of shoulders today, known as reverse shoulder arthroplasty. In this procedure, the entire joint is replaced with a metal prosthesis that is attached to the upper end of the glenoid cavity of the scapula and the humeral head of the affected arm.
Shoulder prosthesis is applied to patients with damage considered irreparable, whether due to fractures or degenerative conditions, such as severe glenohumeral arthritis.
The risks associated are similar to those of any other surgery in the human body: allergic reactions to medications or anesthesia, respiratory problems, infection, bleeding, or blood clots. Additionally, there is also the possibility that the intervention may not yield the expected results, that discomfort may persist, stiffness may appear in the limb, or that another tendon, nerve, or blood vessel may be damaged during the complexity of the surgery.
The doctor will provide you with recommendations and instructions for caring for the operated area. You will likely be given a sling or shoulder immobilizer before leaving the hospital to prevent movement and ensure the success of the surgery.
The recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery performed, usually taking between 4 to 6 weeks. The sling will accompany you for most of this time while pain is managed with medication. Once approved by the doctor, you can begin physiotherapy sessions to rehabilitate the arm, gradually regain movement, and restore shoulder strength.
As these are surgical procedures, the patient will undergo general or local sedation/anesthesia. Only orthopedic surgeons are qualified to perform any of these Rotator Cuff Surgeries.
If you experience any discomfort in your shoulder, do not hesitate to contact me. Immediate attention is the best solution!
WHAT IS THE ROTATOR CUFF?
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons located in the shoulder joint that are crucial for arm movement. An injury to the rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain, muscle weakness, and difficulty lifting and moving the arm. In more severe cases, it can also lead to tendon tears and significantly limit the patient’s ability to perform daily activities.
RESULTS OF ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY
In rotator cuff surgery, the injured tendons are repaired or replaced to restore shoulder function. The success rate of the surgery is approximately 90%, although it can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Many people experience significant improvement in their ability to move and use their arm after the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
The recovery period can range from weeks to several months. The patient’s health status, type of injury, and the complexity of the surgery are determining factors for an individualized prognosis. It is important to follow postoperative care instructions diligently and attend physical therapy sessions to optimize recovery.
Before surgery, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend a series of tests to assess the patient’s overall health and determine if there are any pre-existing conditions that may affect the surgery or recovery. Some patients may also benefit from strengthening the shoulder muscles before surgery.
Rotator cuff surgery (like many other surgeries) is performed under general anesthesia so that the patient does not feel anything during the procedure. After the surgery, it is common to experience postoperative pain. For this reason, specialists typically provide medication to help manage pain in the days following the surgery.