Your rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that helps keep your shoulder stable and enables you to use your full range of arm movement. But if it sustains a severe injury, the rotator cuff often requires surgery by a specialist. Drew Stein, MD, PLLC, is an experienced orthopedic surgeon and sports injury expert who uses advanced surgical techniques at his practice, located in the Midtown West area of New York City, to help patients who have rotator cuff injuries. Call today if you have shoulder pain or book an appointment using the online tool.
The rotator cuff is a network of muscles and tendons that help the ball at the end of your upper arm bone (humerus) to stay securely in place in the shoulder socket.
The tendons in the rotator cuff attach the shoulder muscles to the bones in your shoulder, giving you the ability to move your arm in different directions. However, the tendons and muscles can stretch and tear, resulting in rotator cuff injuries.
Most often, rotator cuff injuries develop from degeneration of the tendon, either due to aging or as a result of years of making repetitive shoulder movements -- for example, rowing, playing tennis, or working as a carpenter or decorator.
It’s also possible to cause rotator cuff injuries by falling on your outstretched arm, or by using an unsafe lifting technique.
The initial treatment for rotator cuff injuries includes conservative approaches, including:
Steroid injections can help reduce inflammation, and regenerative medicine techniques like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy can aid in tissue healing. However, in some cases, surgery is the best option for repairing rotator cuff injuries.
If you need rotator cuff surgery, Dr. Stein is skilled in arthroscopic tendon repair. During this procedure, he inserts a tiny camera on a flexible tube called an arthroscope into your shoulder and uses the images sent back by the camera to guide him as he reattaches the torn tendon to the bone.
Arthroscopy is the most likely type of surgery you’d need to undergo for rotator cuff repair. The procedure is minimally invasive, so there’s less tissue damage than with traditional open surgery. Dr. Stein gives you prescription painkillers to use and a sling to support your shoulder.
The dressing stays on for three days, after which time you see Dr. Stein to have it taken off. You also need to follow the prescribed exercise program to help your shoulder to heal and regain full range of motion.
If shoulder pain is disrupting your life, rotator cuff surgery may be the answer. To find out more, call Drew Stein, MD, PLLC, or book an appointment online.