All rights reserved © Munawar Shah, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

Cuff Tear in Shoulder

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults.

A torn rotator cuff will weaken your shoulder. This means that many daily activities, like combing your hair or getting dressed, may become painful and difficult to do.

When one or more of the rotator cuff tendons is torn, the tendon no longer fully attaches to the head of the humerus. Most tears occur in the supraspinatus muscle and tendon, but other parts of the rotator cuff may also be involved.

In many cases, torn tendons begin by fraying. As the damage progresses, the tendon can completely tear, sometimes with lifting a heavy object.

There are different types of tears.

Partial Tear. This type of tear damages the soft tissue, but does not completely sever it.

Full-Thickness Tear. This type of tear is also called a complete tear. It splits the soft tissue into two pieces. In many cases, tendons tear off where they attach to the head of the humerus. With a full-thickness tear, there is basically a hole in the tendon.

I may recommend surgery if your pain does not improve with nonsurgical methods. Continued pain is the main indication for surgery. If you are very active and use your arms for overhead work or sports, I may also suggest surgery.

 

Other signs that surgery may be a good option for you include:

 

Your symptoms have lasted 6 to 12 months

You have a large tear (more than 3 cm)

You have significant weakness and loss of function in your shoulder

Your tear was caused by a recent, acute injury.

 

Surgical Repair Options

 

A rotator cuff tear most often occurs where the tendon attaches to the bone.

There are a few options for repairing rotator cuff tears. Advancements in surgical techniques for rotator cuff repair include less invasive procedures. While each of the methods available has its own advantages and disadvantages, all have the same goal: getting the tendon to heal.

I do an arthroscopic repair with foot print anchors and technique which is a double row strong and reliable repair.

If cuff tear is unrepareable I will debride and do reverse decompression or put an inspace baloon as spacer to get the mechanics reight.

It may on occasion need to reverse geometry to end up with shoulder replacement of reverse type.