The word “surgery” might send a shiver up your spine. But, when you live with chronic or intense pain that doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, it can offer the best solutions. Plus, advancements in surgical techniques have made many procedures far less invasive than those in the past, including rotator cuff surgery.
At Tadje Orthopaedics, Dr. Jared Tadje brings the most advanced procedures to orthopedic surgery available to his state-of-the-art clinic in Meridian, Idaho. He also published an innovative approach that increases the strength of arthroscopic repair for shoulder injuries.
Here are just a few ways Dr. Tadje can help you say goodbye to shoulder pain through rotator cuff repair surgery.
The painful truth about rotator cuff tears
Your rotator cuff describes the four muscles and tendons covering your shoulder joint that hold your arm in place and give your shoulder mobility. Tendons are the areas where the muscle attaches to bones.
Injuries to these tendons are very common, especially because of age-related wear-and-tear and acute damage from an injury, like falling. Over time, you can also develop calcium deposits in your shoulder from arthritis, known as bone spurs, that increase your chances of rotator cuff tears.
When you have a rotator cuff tear, it’s common to feel the pain that originates in the front of your shoulder before it radiates down into the side of your arm. In many cases, this discomfort becomes even more evident when you perform certain actions, like reaching or lifting.
They can also be painful to lay or sleep on the side that hurts. It’s also possible to experience weakness in your arm and have problems performing everyday activities as simple as combing your hair.
Unfortunately, whether your rotator cuff tear develops because of repetitive use or an acute injury, they can worsen over time. In fact, if you notice your symptoms becoming more acute, it likely means your tear is getting larger.
How rotator cuff repair can help
Dr. Tadje always starts with conservative measures to treat rotator cuff tears, including regenerative techniques like platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem cell treatments. However, if you have symptoms that don’t respond to these approaches or interfere with your daily life, Dr. Tadje could recommend surgery.
There are several different techniques for repairing rotator cuff tears, but they all have the same overall goal: healing your damaged tendon. And, fortunately, Dr. Tadje performs many of these repairs on an outpatient basis, so you can leave the same day and begin your recovery in the comfort of your own home.
How rotator cuff repair works
Three of the most common rotator cuff surgeries include mini-open repair, all arthroscopic repair, or an open repair.
All arthroscopic repair
With this approach, Dr. Tadje makes very small incisions in your shoulder to insert a tiny camera, or arthroscope, into the surgical site. This approach enables Dr. Tadje to perform your entire surgery by visualizing the structures of your shoulder on a video monitor.
When you have this procedure, Dr. Tadje uses newer technology and instruments to fix tendon damage through a very small incision. During this procedure, Dr. Tadje makes an incision three to five centimeters (approximately one to two inches) long. Then, he inserts an arthroscope to assess and repair any shoulder joint issues, like bone spurs, without detaching your deltoid muscle.
The last step of a mini-open repair surgery involves repairing your rotator cuff while looking at the actual surgical site, not one projected to a video monitor.
The most traditional technique for rotator cuff repair involves a large surgical incision to access your shoulder joint, tendons, and muscles. Dr. Tadje could recommend this approach if you have a complex or large shoulder issue. When you have an open repair, Dr. Tadje typically detaches your deltoid muscle, assesses your torn tendon, and removes issues like bone spurs before reattaching your tendon in place.
Recovering from rotator cuff surgery can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, depending on the type and severity of your shoulder injury and which procedure Dr. Tadje performs.
Don’t let shoulder pain slow you down! Do you want to learn more about your treatment options? Visit our website to schedule an appointment today.