The rotator cuff is a ring/cable of tendons that form a cuff over the shoulder joint and helps in keeping the joints in position while moving it. It is the most delicate set of muscle-tendon units of the shoulder joint and hence repetitive movements, direct blow, or overstretching of the arm can lead to an injury to this cuff. Sometimes this injury can lead to a complete or partial rotator cuff tear and need surgical treatment. Let’s discuss on rotator cuff surgery process and things that you should expect after it.

Shoulder Arthroscopy for rotator cuff repair

It is a surgical technique that is used to treat numerous shoulder problems and is considered a better option than the traditional method. In arthroscopy, the surgeon makes small incisions near the shoulder joint and uses an arthroscope to get an inside view of the joint. An arthroscope is a small device that has a small camera attached to a thin pipe. After viewing the anatomy, the surgeon may use screws and sutures to repair the torn tendons and muscles.

What to expect after surgery?

After the surgery, the joint may become a little fragile and will need a well-planned rehabilitation plan for the conditioning of the joint. The duration of this rehab may vary from 4 months to 6 months and will consist of many different phrases.

  • Initial 3-6 weeks- keep the joint stable & protected

The focus in the initial period will be to maintain the functionality of the joint with stability.  For this, your medical expert may suggest you wear a sling throughout the day. It will help you to keep the joint protected and limit the movements that will in turn contribute to healing. Initially, the patient may experience some pain and swelling too. To get relief from this situation, you may be advised to follow ice therapy and take medications. Moreover, it is important to take care of your shoulder while sleeping. For this, you may try a shoulder support pillow, that will provide comfort to you and support to your joint. But as each case is unique, hence it is recommended to seek medical advice on sleeping position.

  • 6-12 weeks- maintain flexibility with Physical therapy

In this phase, the prime focus is to improve flexibility and the range of motion. Hence, Physical therapy sessions will be conducted that will include active as well as passive exercises. It will also help in reducing swelling and pain. But remember that you will need to avoid lifting extremely heavyweights in this duration.

  • 3-6 months- strengthen the muscles and joints

This phrase will include some intense exercises that will help in strengthening the joint and regaining full strength. Performing these exercises in a daily routine can be helpful in making the shoulder stronger.

It is suggested to abstain from driving a car for a long period in the first 12 weeks of the rehabilitation plan. Moreover, if you experience discomfort or anything unusual, then report to your doctor as soon as possible.

If you are looking for an experienced arthroscopic / shoulder surgeon in Gurgaon, then book an appointment with Dr. Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay. He is proficient in arthroscopy & advanced shoulder surgeries and has helped many patients in getting rid of the pain.


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