Treatment of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Rotator cuff injuries are very common problems and can many times be healed without treatment. If a patient has a mild rotator cuff injury, it is important to keep the hurt shoulder inactive with plenty of rest. Apply ice daily and use an anti-inflammatory medicine to help with any swelling and pain.
If the shoulder does require surgery, minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery can usually repair the milder degree rotator cuff injury. In the event arthroscopic surgery does not work or is not recommended due to a more severe rotator cuff injury, there are other options that will treat the condition.
‘Double-Row’ Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
For patients who have significant injuries to the rotator cuff, or who are experiencing recurrent shoulder problems and defects after open and/or arthroscopic surgery has been performed, a double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair might be recommended. The double-row arthroscopic repair technique typically improves the overall quality of the rotator cuff restoration process. ‘Double row’ refers to the way the tendons are repaired—with a double row of sutures rather than just a single row.
Rotator Cuff Repair Video
Rotator Cuff ‘Healing Response’ Technique
The rotator cuff healing response technique is a novel procedure that uses the body’s own stem cells and bone marrow to help repair damaged rotator cuff tendons. This arthroscopic procedure involves making tiny “microfracture” holes in the bone; the blood clot from the bone that releases blood captures the end of the injured muscle and eventually reattaches the ligament back to the bone. No sutures are needed with this repair technique so patients have rapid recoveries.
Tendon Transfer for Failed Rotator Cuff Repair
Sometimes, open or arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery fails to work. In a massive rotator cuff tear good results can occur through a tendon transfer. A tendon transfer is a surgical procedure by which a tendon and its muscle are moved from one location to another. This procedure is completed so that lost function of the shoulder can be regained. This procedure requires technical skill from the surgeon and is more of an undertaking than basic rotator cuff repair surgeries; it is often a last step or salvage surgery.
For additional information on rotator cuff injuries, please contact the orthopedic practice of Dr. Peter Millett.
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Rehabilitation Program for Patients With Irreparable Massive Rotator Cuff Tears (MRCT)