Experiencing a rotator cuff tear can be incredibly debilitating. At Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ, we understand this and offer various treatments to address muscle and joint injuries. One of these treatments is arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, which can help restore both range of motion and strength in the shoulder. We are here to answer any questions you may have about the procedure so that you can feel fully informed and comfortable with your chosen treatment plan.
What Should You Expect From Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Surgery?
Arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery is a highly successful procedure for treating torn rotator cuff tendons. Recovery from this surgery typically occurs in two phases. In the first phase, which takes six to eight weeks, the tendon is stitched back onto the bone for attachment. The second phase begins with the healing process of the tendon itself, which usually requires six to nine months for complete recovery.
Following a rotator cuff surgery, it’s important to rest your shoulder for the first four weeks and avoid any activities that involve reaching, lifting, pushing, or pulling. If you attempt to reach behind your back with the operated arm before this time frame, it could lead to further injury of the affected area.
After six weeks, you may be able to return to driving but will still need several months of rest. Physical therapy is necessary in order to properly strengthen and rehabilitate the muscles around the shoulder joint and restore range of motion. You should avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting until Dr. Mattalino determines that you’ve fully recovered.
Even then, it is important to listen to your body and take time for regular breaks during periods of physical activity so as not to cause any injury or discomfort in your shoulder over time.
Results Will Vary
The recovery timeline can vary significantly from patient to patient depending on factors such as age, activity level prior to surgery, and overall health. For instance, older patients may take longer to heal due to decreased collagen production or weakened muscles, whereas younger patients may heal faster given their higher metabolic rate.
Additionally, those who follow post-surgery instructions closely may benefit from quicker healing times compared to those who do not adhere to instructions as recommended by the doctor. Ultimately, each individual’s unique condition will play an influential role in determining how long it takes for the patient to fully recover from arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery.
The first step to finding relief from a torn rotator cuff is scheduling a consultation with our sports medicine doctor in Phoenix, AZ. During the consultation, we will assess your shoulder injury and look for symptoms such as pain, swelling, and limited motion. It’s also good that we discuss your medical history since this can help us determine the best course of action to treat your injury.
Moreover, we will inform you about potential risks, benefits, and outcomes associated with this type of procedure so that you can make an informed choice about your care. If you decide to move forward with the treatment, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of instructions that must be followed to ensure successful preparation for the surgery.
An arthroscope is a small device that is inserted into the shoulder joint through an incision. The arthroscope contains a miniature camera and light source, allowing Dr. Mattalino to view the rotator cuff on a monitor in real time. Before the procedure, local anesthesia is injected into the shoulder area to numb the patient’s arm and shoulder.
Dr. Mattalino starts the procedure by making small incisions around the shoulder to insert surgical tools for manipulating tissue and removing damaged sections of tissue. He then inserts the arthroscope into one of these small incisions so that he can see inside the shoulder joint on a screen. He will use other instruments through other incisions to cut away damaged portions of tendon or tissue from within the joint, carefully avoiding healthy tissues so as not to damage them in any way.
Dr Mattalino will also take this opportunity to trim away excess bone spurs or scar tissue which may be causing pain or restriction of motion. These structures are removed using very fine surgical instruments through the guidance of the arthroscope. Finally, Dr. Mattalino will reconstruct any torn tendons by stitching them back together using very tiny sutures or special anchors that secure the tendons back in place.
After completing any necessary repairs, Dr. Mattalino will remove all devices from the shoulder joint and close up all incisions. This procedure generally lasts between 1-3 hours depending on the severity of injury or tear. During your initial consultation, we will be able to provide you with more specific information regarding how long you can expect to be under anesthesia for your particular case.
What Causes a Torn Rotator Cuff?
Overexertion or Overuse
Repetitive motion can stress and strain the rotator cuff muscles and tendons, leading to a tear. This happens when people repeatedly perform activities that involve repetitive arm motions, like swimming, baseball pitching, or weightlifting.
Impingement occurs when the shoulder joint bones come together in an abnormal way and press on parts of the rotator cuff as it contracts during movement. This can cause injuries to the tendons and muscle fibers, resulting in a tear.
Traumatic injuries are also known to lead to tears in the rotator cuff. This can happen due to vehicle collisions, contact sports, or falls onto an outstretched hand. In these cases, direct force applied to the shoulder can cause damage to any nearby tissue, including ligaments and tendons within the rotator cuff area.
As you age, collagen production gradually declines and your muscles weaken. This can be especially noticeable in the rotator cuff, which gets its stability from the tendons and muscles surrounding the joint. The degeneration of these components can lead to tears in the rotator cuff that cause pain when lifting your arm or reaching across your body.
Poor posture can have multiple unintended consequences, including damage to the rotator cuff. When your posture is incorrect, you place excess strain on certain areas of your body, particularly in the shoulder region. Over time, this can lead to tears in the tissue structure of the rotator cuff muscles, which can be incredibly painful and restrictive.
To ensure the longevity of shoulder health, it’s crucial that you check your posture regularly and correct any discrepancies with stretching or strengthening exercises.
How To Prepare for Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Surgery
At our medical facility in Phoenix, AZ, we perform rotator cuff surgeries with great skill and precision. To ensure the procedure goes as smoothly as possible, there are some important steps the patient should take before coming in for their appointment. These include:
Contacting Medical Insurance Provider
Whenever considering a medical procedure, it’s critical that you contact your insurance provider before deciding on a hospital or clinic. This way, you can be sure the healthcare facility you’ve chosen is within your provider’s network. Additionally, it’s worth confirming with the insurance company whether or not the type of surgery you are planning for is covered by your policy.
Additionally, it’s wise to know beforehand what costs are going to be your responsibility so that you can budget accordingly.
Arranging for help with transportation and home care in advance will ensure that everything runs smoothly once you are discharged. It can be helpful to have a family member or friend drive you to and from your appointment. Once at home afterwards, arranging for help with activities of daily living such as cooking and cleaning can help reduce stress during the recovery period and ensure your peace of mind.
Following Pre-Operative Instructions
Following your pre-operative instructions before a shoulder arthroscopy is crucial in ensuring a smooth and successful operation. We will have instructed you to fast at least eight hours prior to your appointment. Also, ensure you arrive at least an hour early so that there is plenty of time for check-in, preparation, and paperwork.
You should also stop certain medications, including herbal supplements, at least two weeks in advance. Lastly, remember to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to get on and off during the operation.
Contact a Sports Medicine Doctor in Phoenix, AZ
If you have suffered a torn rotator cuff, you will want the highest quality of medical care available. We specialize in treating orthopedic issues and providing rehabilitation services to help restore mobility and function to your injured joint. Contact Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ, for proper diagnosis and a safe, personalized treatment.