Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Surgery Questions and Answers
Whether you are considering shoulder or rotator cuff surgery or looking for a clinic to perform the surgery, we can help at Dr. Paul Dicpinigaitis, MD in Massapequa, NY! Please feel free to call us or book an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
For many people, the mere thought of requiring major surgery is enough to give you a knot in your stomach and fill you with dread. At the very least, most people have a lot of questions about what to expect from the surgery and whether it is the best choice. At Dr. Paul Dicpinigaitis, MD, we understand the uneasiness and uncertainty that accompanies you when you are preparing for surgery, which is why our expert medical team will explore all options to help you feel confident about the treatment. If you have injured your shoulder or suffered a rotator cuff tear, our board-certified physicians have a wealth of skill, expertise, and experience in performing rotator cuff surgery and providing other treatment options. As such, you can trust that you will be expertly taken care of when you come to our clinic for shoulder or rotator cuff surgery!
Rotator cuff surgery occurs when the rotator cuff tendons in a person’s shoulder have completely torn away from the upper arm bone, known as the humerus. Your rotator cuff tendons connect the humerus to the clavicle and shoulder muscles. As such, rotator cuff surgery involves stitching or reattaching the rotator cuff tendons back to the upper end of the humerus.
With rotator cuff tears, surgery is usually only pursued when less invasive treatment methods fail to bring about healing and pain relief. As such, partial tears to the rotator cuff are often treated with debridement, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or other treatment methods.
If surgery is pursued to treat a rotator cuff tear or injury, there are several different types of surgery that could be performed, including arthroscopic tendon repair, open tendon repair, or a tendon transfer if the injured tendon is too damaged to reattach to the bone.
Recovery from rotator cuff surgery requires some patience and discipline, as it typically takes anywhere from four to six months, depending on the size of the tear, the patient’s age, and how well post-operative care instructions are followed by the patient. As such, it is vital to follow your doctor’s post-operative care instructions to the letter so that your shoulder recovers properly and to avoid the risk of further or re-injury. After the procedure, patients are required to wear a sling to keep their shoulder from moving as the rotator cuff heals. Depending on the type of surgery, most patients are asked to wear the sling for four to six weeks to allow for proper healing. After the sling is removed, physical therapy will be required to help you regain strength and functional mobility in the injured shoulder.
Given the lengthy recovery time of rotator cuff surgery, it is generally considered a major surgery. That said, the definition of major surgery can be somewhat fluid, as some consider a major surgery to be open surgery, others consider it to involve a fatality risk, while others consider any surgery that alters normal anatomy to be major surgery. As such, rotator cuff surgery does not align with every definition of major surgery, as it does not pose a significant fatality risk and can be performed arthroscopically in some instances. That said, it is still considered a major operation.
If you require shoulder or rotator cuff surgery or would like to know more about the procedure, we welcome you to contact us at Dr. Paul Dicpinigaitis, MD, in Massapequa, NY! For an appointment, please feel free to schedule one through our website or give us a call anytime between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Monday to Thursday or from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM on Fridays.