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Rotator Cuff Repair - Open vs Arthroscopic

Rotator Cuff Repair - Open vs Arthroscopic

A rotator cuff is a band of muscles and tendons that forms a cuff around the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons aid in the movement of the shoulder joint by holding the arm in place. Tendon rips can occur as a result of overuse or injury.

You will almost certainly be given a general anaesthetic prior to the surgery. This means you'll be unconscious and unable to feel pain. Alternatively, you may be given regional anaesthesia. You will be numbed in the arm and shoulder area so that you do not experience any pain. You will be given medicine to make you very tired throughout the procedure if you get a regional anaesthetic.

Two common techniques used to perform rotator cuff repair surgery:

  • An open repair involves making a surgical incision and carefully moving a major muscle (the deltoid) out of the way to do the procedure.
  • The arthroscope is inserted through a tiny incision during arthroscopy. A video monitor is linked to the scope. The surgeon can now see the inside of the shoulder. Other tools are placed through one to three additional tiny incisions.

Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery:

Instead of the smaller incisions used during arthroscopies, open operations use a single big incision. This is a more traditional surgical treatment that takes longer to heal and recover from than an arthroscopic procedure. As a result, we only perform open shoulder procedures when absolutely necessary. When it comes to rotator cuff repairs, our staff prefers a less intrusive method.

Because the incision is larger, there is a higher risk of infection following. As a result, some patients may be needed to stay in the hospital for one to two nights following the treatment.

Both arthroscopies and open shoulder surgeries are major operations. Take the time to discuss which surgery is best for you with your doctor, as well as the long-term benefits you can expect. Open surgery restricts you to address other associated tears without disturbing the natural anatomy.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery:


Two to three little (less than 14" long) incisions are created around the shoulder with shoulder arthroscopy, compared to one big incision in an open operation. An arthroscope, a small camera, is put via one of the small incisions, allowing the surgeon to examine and analyse the damaged area for damage that an MRI often misses.

Because of the shorter recovery and rehabilitation timeframes given by the tiny incisions and minimally invasive nature of the treatment, arthroscopy is a popular choice for the young and active who wish to return to sports or their everyday activities as soon as feasible. Arthroscopic surgery is also a common choice for the elderly who have tried and failed nonsurgical therapy.

Arthroscopies are usually performed as outpatient operations that do not necessitate an overnight stay in the hospital. Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair surgery is beneficial when used in a severe tear case, it’ll have minimal incision and only 3-4 stitches. Using Arthroscopy you can also address other associated tears without disturbing the natural anatomy.

Final Thoughts:


A torn rotator cuff can occur as a consequence of trauma or injury, or it can occur as a result of repetitive motion and overuse. Rotator cuff injuries are common among athletes. A rotator cuff tear can occur when one of the muscles is injured or frayed, or when one of the tendons is partially or completely torn. Both can result in joint discomfort, oedema, and a significant reduction of range of motion.

Treatment for rotator cuff injuries varies from person to person and is determined by the severity of the injury. The good news is that with arthroscopic surgery, not only will you have a better chance of regaining a complete range of motion, but you'll also have a faster, less painful recovery and fewer apparent scars.