The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint that keeps the head of the upper arm bone within the shallow socket of the shoulder. A common reason that people injure their rotator cuffs is sports (especially in baseball and tennis) and jobs that require constant overhead motions (such as painters and carpenters). (Related topics: rotator cuff physical therapy, shoulder impingement physical therapy, physical therapist in New Canaan, CT)
Different Rotator Cuff Surgeries
- Open Repair – If the tear is large or complex, an open surgical incision of several centimeters is required. The doctor will make an incision and detach one of the shoulder muscles to gain access to the torn tendon. The surgeon then removes bone spurs from the acromion.
- All-Arthroscopic Repair- The surgeon uses an arthroscope, which is a small camera, to see inside your shoulder joint. They will then guide surgical instruments based off of the images that the camera is providing.
- Mini Open-Repair – This process also uses an arthroscope to assess the damage within the joint. The difference with this procedure, though, is that the surgeon views the structure directly rather than through a video monitor.
- The last option is no surgery. There are many situations where the person that is injured won’t need any surgery and can heal with the help of physical therapy.
- Medications are often prescribed for short-term pain relief after the surgery.
- For the first 7 to 10 days after the surgery, you will most likely use a sling while the tendon heals.
- A big part of recovery involves the help of a physical therapist. During the first 6 weeks, you will practice passive and assisted motions, which means the shoulder will move without placing any tension on the repair. The next 6 weeks after that will include active motion, where you will move your arm without resistance. It’s important that you then strengthen the muscles in your rotator cuff with the help of a physical therapist.
It’s important to remember that each case is different. Each person will have different levels of injury in their rotator cuffs, along with different recovery plans. At CT Sports Physical Therapy & Wellness, we can help you in your recovery so that you can return to your regular routine in no time!