The rotator cuff is formed from four muscles and tendons that attach your arm to the top of your shoulder blade (see figure 1). Impingement or a tear are the usual types of damage that can happen to the rotator cuff.
You should get less pain and be able to use your shoulder more easily.
Most people with impingement or a small tear can get back good function in their shoulder by changing their activities, and with the help of exercises and physiotherapy.
Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can also help.
A steroid and local-anaesthetic injection into your shoulder can sometimes reduce pain.
If you have a large tear, it is likely that surgery is your only option to get back some strength in your shoulder.
The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.
Impingement is usually treated by an arthroscopy (keyhole surgery). Your surgeon will use instruments to remove any thickened tissue, release any tight tissue and to shave off some bone.
Your surgeon may also be able to repair rotator-cuff tears using keyhole surgery. However, they may need to use open surgery. They will use stitches that anchor into the bone.
You should be able to go home the same day. Any stitches or clips are usually removed after one to two weeks.
It can take up to a year to get back enough strength in your shoulder to return to normal activities.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
You may not get back the same strength that you had before you damaged your shoulder.
Author: Prof Lennard Funk MSc FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)
Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Medical-Artist.com
Expected length of hospital stayDay Case
Private Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair treatment prices.
|Option||In London||Outside London||Under 16's|
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HCA Healthcare UK hospitals offering Shoulder, Wrist & Hand treatments
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Consultants offering Shoulder, Wrist & Hand treatments
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Private Shoulder, Wrist & Hand treatments at HCA Healthcare UK.
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