The Rotator cuff is a group of four tendons in the shoulder joint that provide stability and support to the joint, and assist in the wide range of movements. An injury to these tendons is called rotator cuff tears.
Rotator cuff tears are extremely common in middle and older age, and is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. It may occur with dislocation, repetitive overhead activity, in workplace or recreational activities, or with general wear and tear. It commonly causes severe pain, weakness in the affected arm, and pain with certain positions of the arm. There may be pain, tenderness and swelling of the shoulder.
MRI is the most sensitive method of assessing the shoulder. Treatments can include non surgical managements including rest, shoulder immobilisation sling, pain medications, steroid injections and physiotherapy exercises. Often surgery is required to fix the tendon that is torn off back onto the shoulder bone. Rotator cuff repair may be performed by open or arthroscopic surgery, or a combination of both.
The rotator cuff tendons are repaired using suture anchors to bone to hold the tendons in the correct position. Following the surgery you will be referred to a physiotherapist for range of motion and strengthening exercises.