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Rotator Cuff Repair


What is the Rotator Cuff? 

The rotator cuff consists of four tendons that surround the shoulder joint and keep the humeral head in place in the shoulder socket. The rotator cuff allows individuals to raise and move there arms/shoulders.

What are Causes of a Rotator Cuff Tear? 

Rotator cuff tears most often occur due to repetitive use of the shoulder. A rotator cuff tear can also arise from a sudden shoulder injury.  

Symptoms of a torn rotator cuff may include: 

  • Dull ache   
  • Inability to sleep due to pain 
  • Difficulty moving your shoulder, particularly upwards   
  • Arm weakness  

How is a Rotator Cuff Tear Treated?  

Treatment for a rotator cuff tear will depend on the severity of the tear, level of pain, and level of motion in the shoulder.  

Nonoperative treatments include: 

  • Physical Therapy 
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs 
  • Cortisone Injection 
  • PRP Injection 
  • Stem Cell Injection  

Surgical treatment options include: 

  • Rotator Cuff Repair - A rotator cuff repair is an arthroscopic surgery that involves repairing the torn rotator cuff. This involves re-attaching the tendon to the bone.  

After this surgery the patient will be placed in a shoulder brace for approximately 6 weeks. After 6 weeks post-surgery the patient will be referred to physical therapy and will be instructed to start gentle range of motion exercises. At 12 weeks post-surgery, the physical therapist will start working on strengthening exercises.  

Please call Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara to discuss the details of what rotator cuff tear treatment option is best for you with board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. William Gallivan.  



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