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What is rotator cuff repair surgery?

Rotator cuff surgery is performed in patients with a torn rotator cuff – a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint that keeps the upper arm firmly in the shoulder joint socket. The surgery can be performed traditionally – with an open incision, or minimally invasively/arthroscopically.
Rotator cuff injuries are very common, mostly in older people or people who frequently perform overhead motions, like painters, carpenters, etc. Normally, rotator cuff injuries happen over time and can be treated conservatively if caught in time. However, severe tears or tears that occur due to a single trauma are normally treated surgically.

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Best Doctors For Rotator Cuff Repair

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Best orthopedic treatment center for rotator cuff repair surgery in India

Best orthopedic treatment center for rotator cuff repair surgery in India

Pristyn Care is one of the largest surgery care providers in India, with orthopedic centers established in almost all major cities in India. It also has a team of expert orthopedic surgeons on panel to help provide advanced orthopedic care to all patients.
Some other services provided by Pristyn Care include complete insurance and hospital documentation support, easy payment plans like no-cost EMI, etc. It also provides cab facility to the patient for pick up and drop off from the hospital on the day of surgery and complimentary meals during hospitalization.
If you have a rotator cuff tear or any other orthopedic ailment, you should consult us immediately for expert orthopedic surgery in India.

What happens during rotator cuff repair surgery?

What happens during rotator cuff repair surgery?

The treatment for rotator cuff repair surgery begins with a thorough diagnosis. Diagnosis usually includes physical examination and imaging tests. During the physical examination, the surgeon will examine the joint movement and function, to determine the cause and severity of the injury.

Common imaging tests performed for rotator cuff tear diagnosis include:

  • X-rays help visualize bone abnormalities like bone spurs, joint dislocation, arthritis, etc., to find the cause of the pain.
  • Ultrasound helps visualize soft tissues like muscles, tendons, etc., so the surgeon can assess these tissues for tears, sprains, etc.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves to see and diagnose shoulder tissues in great detail to help prepare the treatment plan.

Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, the surgeon will discuss your treatment option with you. Most mild to moderate tears are managed conservatively – through medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy. However, in case of severe rotator cuff tears, surgery is recommended.

The surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia, but sometimes regional anesthesia may be given if only minor repair is needed. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the incision is made and the tendon is either repaired (re-attached to the bone using small rivets called anchors or sutures) or replaced using a tendon graft. In severe cases, the entire shoulder joint is replaced. Finally, the incisions are closed and dressed.

How to prepare for rotator cuff surgery?

How to prepare for rotator cuff surgery?

Before the rotator cuff repair surgery, you should follow the given preparatory steps to ensure treatment success and comfort during the treatment journey:

  • Discuss your health condition with your surgery provider. Tell them about all medicines, supplements, or medical herbs you are currently taking. If you are taking any blood thinners or medicines that may cause anesthesia-related complications, you may need to stop them before the surgery.
  • If you have any pre-existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc., you may need approval from your regular care provider before getting the surgery.
  • Stop tobacco and alcohol consumption, especially smoking, a few days before the surgery as they can interfere with the patient’s healing ability.
  • If you have a fever, cold, or other infection before the surgery, inform your surgery provider, so they can prepare accordingly.
  • Prepare an overnight bag as you may be hospitalized for 1-2 days after the surgery. Do not eat anything after midnight on the day of the surgery, especially if your surgery is to be performed under general anesthesia.

What to expect after a rotator cuff repair?

What to expect after a rotator cuff repair?

Most people are discharged after overnight hospitalization if there are no complications. The patient has to wear a sling or shoulder immobilizer to keep the shoulder immobile for around 4-6 weeks, maybe more – the exact duration depends on the type of surgery.
Complete recovery can take about 4-6 months, depending on the severity of the tear, patient’s healing ability, physical therapy, etc. There may be some pain initially – that can be managed through over-the-counter painkillers. The patient must keep up with their physiotherapy as prescribed to ensure restoration of complete joint function and range of motion.

When is rotator cuff surgery required?

When is rotator cuff surgery required?

Rotator cuff surgery is generally performed in patients with rotator cuff injury or tear. It can occur as a result of a progressive wear and tear of the tendon tissue over time due to prolonged joint use during heavy lifting, overhead activities, etc.
Some signs of rotator cuff injury you should look out for are:

  • Deep dull ache in the shoulder joint
  • Pain at night disturbing your sleep
  • Difficult to perform everyday overhead motions like combing hair, reaching behind the back, etc.
  • Arm weakness

Sometimes the pain is absent or very short-lived, and the only sign of the injury is difficulty in performing arm functions. Pain can also be a sign of tendinitis or inflammation of the bursa.
Surgery is considered a good option if – the symptoms have lasted over 6-12 months despite treatment, the tear is larger than 3 cm., and if there is severe arm weakness and lack of joint motion.

What are the risk factors for rotator cuff tears?

What are the risk factors for rotator cuff tears?

Tears are most common in people over the age of 60. Common risk factors that can lead to rotator cuff tears are:

  • Keeping your arm in the same position for long time periods, like during computer work, hairstyling, etc.
  • Occupations like carpentry, house painting, etc., that may result in overuse of the joint
  • Sleeping on the same arm every night
  • Sports players, especially in sports like baseball, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, etc.
  • Sudden falls  on the arm especially when it is stretched out
  • Family history of rotator cuff tears

How does rotator cuff surgery benefit you?

How does rotator cuff surgery benefit you?

Benefits of rotator cuff surgery are:

  • Relieves chronic shoulder pain, especially in patients who haven’t been able to sleep properly at night due to pain despite getting conservative treating for at least 3-4 months.
  • Improves/restores shoulder joint motion and activity, and aids return to work or sports.
  • Strengthens the shoulder joint so the patient can perform everyday activities.

While a partial tear doesn’t necessarily require surgery, however in case of a complete tear, surgery is the best course of treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I manage the surgical site after hospital release?

Change your dressing once every 2 days, or as suggested by your physician. Do not disturb the sutures or incisions. Wrap a watertight bandage around the wound to keep the incision dry while showering or taking a bath.

When will the physical therapy begin after the surgery?

Physical therapy typically begins within the first 6 weeks following the surgery, depending on the type of surgery, surgeon and patient preference, etc. Shoulder strengthening generally begins about 12 weeks after the surgery.

When can I return to sports and recreational activities after the surgery?

You should wait at least 4-6 weeks before playing sports or putting pressure on your shoulder joint, however, you should always seek approval from your surgery provider before doing so.

Which activities should be avoided during the recovery period?

You should avoid performing active range of motion (AROM) and aggressive and painful passive range of motion (PROM) movements of your shoulder along with activities like pushing yourself up from a lying or seated position with the affected arm, and movements that provoke muscle guarding/spasm.

How long does the surgery take?

The surgery generally takes about 60-90 minutes, depending on the complexity of the injury and type of surgery.

Types of surgery

  • Arthroscopic tendon repair: It is a minimally invasive surgery performed using a scope and thin surgical instruments inserted through tiny incisions to reattach the torn tendon to the bone.
  • Open tendon repair: Open tendon repair is performed to reattach the tendon through a large incision. Nowadays, open surgery is only performed when strictly necessary as it has larger chances of complications.

How can I improve recovery after a rotator cuff surgery?

How can I improve recovery after a rotator cuff surgery?

Recovery is usually quicker after arthroscopic surgery compared to open surgery, but in either case, you should follow the given tips to enhance your recovery from rotator cuff surgery:

  • Wear your sling/shoulder immobilizer for as long as necessary as it provides support to the healing joint and serves as a reminder to not move the arm during recovery.
  • Sleep in an upright position to avoid extra pressure on the healing joint. You can use pillows or soft mattresses to prop up or sleep in a recliner or wide armchair.
  • You will have difficulty performing your everyday tasks like showering, dressing, etc., during the initial recovery period, so do not hesitate in asking for help from your family or friends.
  • Do not skip out on your physiotherapy and follow the rehab program provided by your physiotherapist diligently.
  • Rest well. Try to stay in as comfortable a position as possible and avoid putting pressure on your operated shoulder.
  • Use an ice pack to massage the area in days immediately after the surgery. Once the post-surgery inflammation has gone down, use a heat pack to massage the area.
  • Be careful while moving your shoulder. You can perform wrist and finger movements easily, but avoid stressing the shoulder joint.
  • Pace yourself as complete recovery may take time. Rushing yourself before time can harm you and delay the recovery instead of aiding it.

What are the complications associated with rotator cuff repair surgery?

What are the complications associated with rotator cuff repair surgery?

Rotator cuff repair surgery is generally very safe, especially in case of arthroscopic surgery, however, there are certain complications that can occur, such as:

  • Permanent loss of joint motion
  • Weakness of the shoulder joint
  • Allergic reaction to medicines/anesthesia
  • Bleeding or infection
  • Blood clot formation
  • Failure to relieve the patient’s symptoms
  • Permanent injury to a nerve, tendon or blood vessel
  • Re-tear of the tendon

Complications usually occur during rotator cuff repair if the patient has weakened rotator cuff muscles before the surgery, or has a very large tear. The surgery may also fail if the patient does not diligently follow post surgery care tips and physiotherapy.

How to prevent rotator cuff injuries?

How to prevent rotator cuff injuries?

You should follow the given steps to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of a rotator cuff injury:

  • Follow a shoulder strength-training program to reduce the risk of injury, especially if you have one or more risk factors of rotator cuff injury.
  • If you’ve already undergone treatment in the form of surgery or physical therapy, continue your shoulder stretching and strengthening exercises after you’ve recovered.
  • Take regular breaks especially if your work/sport requires frequent shoulder and arm movements.
  • Massage the joint with a cold pack if you have any shoulder pain.

Our Patient Love Us

  • Deepa Tiwari

    Treatment: Rotator Cuff Repair

    5/5

    My experience with Pristyn Care was very good. I faced no complications or any major side effects after the surgery. Thank you.

    City: Faridabad 11 days ago
  • John

    Treatment: Rotator Cuff Repair

    5/5

    The staff and doctors were very professional and polite. I had a rotator cuff surgery in Hyderabad through Pristyn Care and I am very happy with the results. I would definitely recommend their services.

    City: Hyderabad 11 days ago
  • Mahesh Alva

    Treatment: Rotator Cuff Repair

    5/5

    I had my rotator cuff repair surgery through Pristyn Care and I am very happy with the procedure. The surgery was smooth and I faced no complications. Huge thanks to Pristyn Care.

    City: Bangalore 12 days ago
  • Priyadeep Arora

    Treatment: Rotator Cuff Repair

    5/5

    The Pristyn Care team helped me at every step of my surgical journey. I had my rotator cuff repair surgery through them in Gurgaon and I couldn't have asked for more. So grateful to the surgeons and staff. They were very polite and friendly.

    City: Gurgaon 14 days ago
  • Sunny Singh

    Treatment: Rotator Cuff Repair

    5/5

    Pristyn Care did an excellent job with my rotator cuff repair surgery in Gurgaon. The care-coordinator helped me at every step of my surgical journey. Very happy with the results and would highly recommend it.

    City: Gurgaon 15 days ago
  • Priyadeep Arora

    Treatment: Rotator Cuff Repair

    5/5

    The Pristyn Care team helped me at every step of my surgical journey. I had my rotator cuff repair surgery through them in Gurgaon and I couldn't have asked for more. So grateful to the surgeons and staff. They were very polite and friendly.

    City: Gurgaon 16 days ago
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