Rotator Cuff Surgery

Rotator cuff repair may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending upon your condition and your doctor’s practices.

Rotator cuff repair may be done while you are asleep under general anesthesia, or while you are awake under local or regional anesthesia. If regional anesthesia is used, you will have no feeling in your shoulder. The type of anesthesia will depend upon the specific procedure being done. Your doctor will discuss this with you in advance.

Generally, rotator cuff repair surgery follows this process:

  1. You will be asked to remove clothing and will be given a gown to wear.
  2. An intravenous (IV) line may be started in your arm or hand.
  3. You will be positioned on the operating table.
  4. The anesthesiologist will continuously monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood oxygen level during the surgery.
  5. The skin over your surgical site will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
  6. Your doctor will make an incision in the shoulder area. The incision will vary depending upon the type of surgery (open surgery, arthroscopy, or a combination of both) that may be done.
  7. The arthroscope (if used) will be inserted through the incision.
  8. Other incisions may be made to introduce other small grasping, probing, or cutting tools.
  9. Injured tendons and muscles will be repaired or replaced with a graft tendon from another part of the body.
  10. Bone spurs (if present) will be removed.
  11. The incision(s) will be closed with stitches or surgical staples.
  12. A sterile bandage/dressing will be applied.

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