Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Denver Vail Orthopedics -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Denver Vail Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgeons & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Denver, CO

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Specialist
The doctors at Denver Vail Orthopedic are experts in performing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair to help patients recover from injury. Appointments for consultation are available at four conveniently located offices in Denver, Parker, and Castle Rock, Colorado.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Q & A

What is a rotator cuff tear?

A torn rotator cuff is an injury that occurs when the ligaments that connect the shoulder to the arm are partially or completely torn off of the humerus.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

One of the biggest and most common signs of a torn rotator cuff is an obvious decrease in the function and movement of the arm and shoulder. Severe pain, swelling, and bruising may also occur following such an injury. Always go to a doctor anytime you have any pain your extremities.

What can I expect after surgery?

Pain after surgery can decrease with medications prescribed by the doctor. The arm will be protected using a sling for a prearranged period of time. Physical therapy following surgery is critical to an effective recovery. A rehabilitation program can include the following:

  • As soon as they are awake after the operation, patients can start doing exercises which flex and extend the wrist, elbow, and hand.
  • The next day, a physical therapist or a machine can assist to move the joint through a range of motion.
  • Active exercise and stretches, with the help of a physical therapist, can begin 6 to 8 weeks following the procedure. This depends on how bad the tear was and how complex the surgical repair had to be.
  • Patients can be taught strengthening exercises a few months later. Patients will begin with light weights and progress to heavier ones.

How long is the recovery period?

Most rotator cuff repair surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. This means that recovery is 3-4 hours following surgery. In terms of full recovery, that takes anywhere from 4-6 months before vigorous shoulder activity is allowed. Patients are discharged home with an arm sling that is used to keep the arm as immobile as possible. Physical therapy starts within a couple of weeks. The sling is kept in place for up to 6 weeks. Many patients complain of a stiff shoulder following rotator cuff repair. It is important that it takes approximately 4-6 months for your shoulder to fully recover.

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