Here at Angelo Mattalino, MD in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ, we are proud to be the most trusted orthopedic practice in the state of Arizona and we owe it all to patients just like you. We didn’t obtain our trusted status without hard work and dedication, and we believe this is reflected in the number of patients whose lives we have improved with our arthroscopic rotator cuff repair procedures.
Damaged rotator cuffs are common but can also have endless variations depending on the unique situation of the patient. That’s where our expertise and passion for helping people come into play, and our approach to healing is what sets us apart from any other competition in the Phoenix, AZ area.
What Happens if I Ignore My Damaged Rotator Cuff?
A damaged rotator cuff can often be minimized by those who feel they should just “tough it out” until it heals on its own. By choosing to disregard the issue or avoid addressing it as soon as it happens, a patient can open himself up to the risk of exacerbating the injury and hindering his quality of life far beyond the initial discomfort of the damaged cuff.
Over time, an ignored cuff injury can result in weakened shoulder muscles and persistent pain along with a limited range of motion and difficulty lifting even light objects. Repetitious overhead movements can cause additional tearing in the already-compromised shoulder. The injury can also become more susceptible to inflammation and bone spurs. Most importantly, waiting to address a torn rotator cuff can severely impact the time it takes to fully recover, meaning prolonged pain and suffering.
Understanding Your Body
Your Rotator Cuff
This is a vital group of muscles and tendons that play an important role in the stability and functionality of your shoulders. Your rotator cuff is located in your shoulder joint and its job is to hold your humerus securely within your shoulder socket while still allowing the freedom of rotating and lifting your arms.
Not only does this important cuff support the overall integrity of your shoulder, but it also allows you to perform a wide range of activities. From lifting heavy objects and engaging in challenging sports activities to performing simple daily tasks, your rotator cuff is always hard at work ensuring strength and precision in your arm movements.
Why Might I Need an Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair?
Injuries and Accidents
Nearly every rotator cuff injury is the result of excessive stress put on the tendons and muscles, but the underlying culprit behind the stress can be any number of things. Many people experience tears in their cuffs from hard falls. This is because when we fall, we often instinctually try to catch ourselves and this puts the shoulder in a compromising position.
Sports injuries, especially those that involve lots of overhead movements such as a soccer goalie, tennis player, or baseball player, place repetitive strain on the cuff and weaken it. Lifting heavy objects incorrectly, especially if you use a sudden jerking motion and don’t lift with your legs, can place a direct strain on your rotator cuffs.
Some people are prone to developing a condition known as shoulder instability, where the muscles become imbalanced over time due to a tendency for certain shoulder muscles to begin overpowering other muscles in the area. This instability can be the perfect concoction for future cuff tears.
In some people, there isn’t enough space between the rotator cuff and the acromion, which is a bony protrusion of your shoulder blade. The culprit, in this case, is an abnormally-shaped acromion, which is typically caused by past conditions such as joint swelling or bone spurs. When space is lacking between the cuff and the acromion, the patient will develop shoulder impingement. This is when the acromion pinches the tendons in the cuff, and this will also lead to tears.
Time and Aging
Sometimes, just the normal wear and tear of everyday life can be enough for a cuff injury. The stresses we put on our rotator cuffs from daily activities will slowly weaken and damage the muscles and tendons within the shoulder, making tears happen more easily.
Aging also raises a patient’s overall risk for tears due to the lack of ample blood supply being carried to the shoulder. Increased age also means that the body has a harder time healing itself from even minor injuries.
What Are the Symptoms of a Damaged Rotator Cuff?
You’ll primarily feel pain in your shoulder, even while you’re at rest. You may experience an increase in pain when you lift or lower your arm, and you might also notice an uncomfortable grinding or popping noise when moving your arm in any direction.
Those who suffer damaged cuffs may also experience weakness in their arm or a crackling sensation when they move their shoulder a certain way. In cases of severe tears, patients may find that they have great difficulty moving or lifting their affected arm at all.
What To Expect From an Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair in Phoenix, AZ
You’ll be under anesthesia and comfortably positioned on your back for this procedure. The surgeon will begin by creating inconspicuous openings in your shoulder skin. An arthroscopic camera is placed in one opening, while the surgeon’s specialized tools are placed through the other openings. The purpose of the camera is to provide the surgeon with a live feed of the shoulder’s internal structures. The first phase of the procedure involves a thorough inspection of the shoulder joint.
Any debris or tendon fragments will be removed, and the surgeon will remove some of the bone from the underside of the patient’s acromion if the patient is suffering from shoulder impingement. After this is complete, the surgeon will move on to repairing the cuff injury using sutures, anchors, or other techniques tailored to the patient’s unique needs. If the tear is severe, the surgeon may need to make an additional inconspicuous incision to ensure a thorough repair.
Your Top Destination for Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair in Phoenix, AZ
When you choose us for your arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, you are making a choice that puts you in the care of the most compassionate team in Arizona. We combine the most updated technology available with our dedication to delivering the highest standard of treatment possible, and we work with you every step of the way. If you’re ready to say goodbye to shoulder discomfort, give us a call today here at Angelo Mattalino, MD, in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ.