Our shoulders are incredibly flexible and useful joints, helping us throughout our daily lives and enabling us to perform incredible feats of athleticism. However, our shoulders can also be prone to injury. Bruce Prager, MD, and the team at Orthopedic Center of Arlington in Arlington, Texas, are experts at diagnosing and treating rotator cuff tears. Call or go online today to schedule an appointment.
The rotator cuff provides stability and movement in your shoulder joint. This group of four tendons surrounds the head of your upper arm bone (humerus) and attach it to your shoulder blade.
When your rotator cuff is torn, either partially or completely, it can lead to shoulder pain and weakness in your arm. Other symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include a crackling sensation when you move your shoulder in certain positions.
Rotator cuff tears can happen suddenly, such as in a fall or sports injury. More often, tears develop slowly as a result of repetitive stress on the shoulder. Sports that use overhead motions, like baseball, and jobs that require lifting your arms, like painting, may increase your risk of rotator cuff tears.
First, your provider at Orthopedic Center of Arlington carefully examines your shoulder to determine the severity of your rotator cuff tear. They may also take imaging tests, like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
Then, the team recommends the best course of treatment based on your specific condition. Mild rotator cuff tears typically improve with nonsurgical treatments, like physical therapy and activity modification.
If your rotator cuff tear is severe or doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatment, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Prager is trained in arthroscopic surgery and uses this minimally invasive technique whenever possible.
Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive because it uses small incisions that are about the size of a buttonhole. Open surgery usually requires a much larger incision that’s several inches long.
Your surgeon inserts a thin, flexible instrument (arthroscope) through the incision. The arthroscope contains a camera lens that projects high-definition images of the inside of your shoulder joint onto a monitor.
After your surgeon locates the rotator cuff tear, they insert miniature surgical instruments through the arthroscope to repair it. Then, they close the incision.
Because arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery is minimally invasive, it involves less pain, smaller scars, and faster recovery time than open surgery. However, you still feel some pain after surgery. The Orthopedic Center of Arlington team works with you to develop a rehabilitation plan for recovery.
To find out if arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is right for you, call Orthopedic Center of Arlington or book an appointment online today.