What happens During Surgery?
You will be put under a general anaesthetic for the procedure.
An incision will be made around your shoulder. Your surgeon will insert an arthroscope (small camera) through the incision to see the inside of your shoulder. Images will be relayed on a screen, allowing your surgeon to inspect tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone for damage. Your surgeon will then determine which tendons and muscles in and around the rotator cuff need to be loosened or repaired, as well as what damaged tissue needs to be removed.
An extra two or three incisions will be made around your shoulder so your surgeon can better access the areas requiring treatment. Instruments will then be inserted to extract damaged tissue, loosen tightened muscles and tendons, and carry out repairs. Bone can also be shaved off if required.
Your surgeon will next repair your rotator cuff. The edges of torn tendons will be drawn together and joined to the bone with the aid of anchors and sutures.
Shoulder arthroscopy and rotator cuff surgery usually takes between 45 and 60 minutes.
How long Will I Stay in hospital?
Patients undergoing this procedure should be able to go home the same day.
What is my recovery time?
A period of up to nine months may be necessary to make a full recovery.
The tendons in the rotator cuff initially heal over six weeks, but will need up to three months to form a solid attachment to the bone. The rotator will then completely heal over the following six months.
Most patients wear a sling for several weeks after surgery in order to protect their shoulder during the early stages of healing.
It is common to experience pain and soreness in the immediate months following surgery as your shoulder heals. Painkillers can be prescribed to help mitigate pain.
Your shoulder can be strengthened and regain range of movement through sessions with a physiotherapist.
Many patients return to their normal lives within six months of their surgery.