Rotator Cuff Repair

Rotator cuff repair is the surgery to treat torn muscles and tendons of the cuff that covers the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff holds the shoulder together and helps it rotate and move properly. Tears in the tissue can result from falls or other trauma, frequent repetitive movement, or the aging process, which weakens tendons. If treatments such as rest, ultrasound, and cortisone injections do not relieve severe pain in the shoulder, surgery may be indicated. The procedure can be performed with either an open incision or minimally invasively through a shoulder arthroscopy. Arthroscopy uses small incisions for the insertion of an arthroscope, an instrument that has a tiny camera and surgical instruments. In an operating room, the orthopedic surgeon looks inside the shoulder with use of an arthroscope to see if the problem can be repaired with surgery. Repair generally includes reattaching a tendon to the bone where it tore off, removing any bone spurs, cleaning out inflammatory debris, and addressing muscle tears. Patients wear a sling and possibly a shoulder immobilizer for several weeks after leaving the hospital. Physical therapy helps with rehabilitation, and recovery can take up to six months.

Patients from across the nation trust their orthopaedic care to the specialists at UAB Medicine, where they benefit from the evidence-based care delivered by nationally known specialists in a compassionate environment. Our faculty physicians perform a wide array of complex and minimally invasive procedures and treatments, from complete hip replacements and bone cancer screenings to scoliosis correction and repair of sports-related injuries.

Clinics are maintained at the convenient UAB Hospital-Highlands, which offers easy access and free parking.

UAB Orthopaedics is comprised of physicians focused on specific bone and joint conditions of the hands, back, knees, hips, and feet. Physicians specializing in pediatric orthopaedics, musculoskeletal oncology, and sports medicine complete our comprehensive group of specialists. Our pledge is to work with you to determine the best course of care for your individual needs, and we keep you informed every step of the way. Our access to a wide variety of UAB Medicine specialists in other areas ensures that you will receive outstanding, experienced care.

Specialists within UAB Orthopaedics are highly skilled experts in their areas. Our physicians receive additional training in their area of specialty and stay up to date on the latest advances through professional medical societies such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Because our physicians take leadership roles in professional medical societies and author textbooks that help mold tomorrow’s orthopaedic physicians, they are nationally and internationally renowned for their care.

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