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When A Rotator Cuff Tear Requires Surgery
A tear in the shoulder’s rotator cuff can be disabling and painful, but it can be fixed through an orthopaedic surgery in Singapore. There are different treatments for this type of injury. The doctor will choose the most suitable treatment based on the severity of signs and symptoms of the injury.
If you have a torn rotator cuff, you may feel a gradual or sudden onset of pain on the affected shoulder. You may sustain a tear on your rotator cuff due to a traumatic injury. However, several tears may occur gradually, and the causes are unknown or forgotten injuries.
If you have a torn rotator cuff, you may feel pain at the side and front of your upper arm or shoulder. The pain typically manifests during overhead motions, but it can also occur while doing your usual activities or even wake you up in your sleep.
What is the Rotator Cuff?
Most people have heard about the rotator cuff, but many knew nothing about it. The shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint is surrounded by a group of small muscles known collectively as the rotator cuff. The contraction of the rotator cuff muscles keeps the ball-and-socket joint in its proper place. Once the cuff muscles turn weak, injured, or torn, they lose their ability to keep the ball-and-socket joint centered and affect the shoulder’s normal function.
Many patients will see improvement after the torn rotator cuff had undergone proper rehabilitation. Some will experience continued symptoms even if they went through adequate rehabilitation, and they may still need to undergo surgery.
A seasoned sports medicine surgeon, shoulder surgeon, therapist, or physician can easily see the signs that your rotator cuff has problems. X-rays cannot visualize the rotator cuff problem directly, but it may reveal subtle signs regarding possible problems via the bones of the shoulder joint. An MRI can help confirm or clear any suspicions. However, there are several problems associated with shoulder pain. It is recommended to undergo a thorough examination by an orthopedic shoulder surgeon with years of experience.
Physical therapy and home-based strengthening routine are sometimes enough for some patients to solve their problems with their rotator cuffs. They can regain their shoulder function completely even without undergoing surgery. Some require undergoing surgery to retrieve the painless, normal shoulder function.
Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery
To diagnose and define the tear properly, doctors often recommend arthroscopic shoulder surgery or shoulder arthroscopy. In most cases, the problem can be solved with the help of instruments that are specially designed to work through small incisions. The surgery gives minimum discomfort and does not require the patient to stay in the hospital. An experienced surgeon who can perform shoulder arthroscopy flawlessly is usually in-charge of the entire procedure.
There is a misconception that shoulder arthroscopy must not be used to repair large tears. Keep in mind that the goals of repair are to restore the full strength of the affected shoulder, make it possible to regain painless motion, and bring back the affected shoulder to its normal, healthy state.
There is a process called debridement wherein the frayed, degenerated, and loose tissue around the edge of the cuff must be removed to regain healthy tissue. There is a need to bring back the edge of the cuff tear to its usual position without too much tension.
Patients Who Require Surgery
Patients who may need to undergo surgery to fix their rotator cuff include:
– Those that don’t show signs of improvement after undergoing proper rehabilitation and physical therapy.
– High-demand athletes that incurred acute injury.
– Overhead laborers or workers.
– Persons who may have irrecoverable shoulder damage due to cuff tear as seen in the MRI or X-ray.