Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery Overview

An injury to the rotator cuff is quite common in the athletic population. A rotator cuff injury, typically a tendon tear, involves one of the four muscle-tendon units that compose the structure. Patients who have experienced a large, partial or complete tear of a tendon usually require a rotator cuff repair surgery to return full function and stability to the shoulder. Dr. Jonathan Ticker, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC area orthopedic shoulder surgeon, specializes in various techniques of arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, including single row, double row and augmentation with a graft.

The rotator cuff muscles and tendons play an important role in shoulder stabilization and allowing overhead movements. The tendons often experience repetitive trauma from sporting activities and overhead motions. A traumatic event, such as a fall or direct hit to the shoulder, constant overuse or natural degeneration can cause a tendon to tear off its attachment site at the humerus (upper arm bone), causing either a partial or complete tear.

In small, partial tears, Dr. Ticker may begin treatment with non-operative measures such as rest, ice, modified activities and physical therapy. If the tear fails to heal with conservative measures, or if the tear is a large, partial tear or complete tear, an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery may be recommended. Dr. Ticker specializes in several techniques, including single row, double row and augmentation with a graft.

‘Single Row’ and ‘Double Row’ Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

A single row and double row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery are reserved for patients with a more severe rotator cuff injury, such as a complete tear. A single row or double row refers to the technique in which the torn tendon is repaired during surgery, either by a single row or double row of sutures. Both techniques are highly effective and help return patients to activities quicker with less pain.

Augmentation with a Graft Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

An augmentation with a graft procedure is a combination of an arthroscopic and open approach. Once the torn tendon is initially repaired, Dr. Ticker will decide if it will benefit from the extra strength provided by a graft. If additional strength is necessary to complete the rotator cuff repair surgery, a graft made from a cadaveric dermis will be sewn into the tendon. The tendon will then be secured back to its attachment site on the humerus utilizing strong sutures and anchors.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery Recovery and Rehabilitation

All patients will be provided with detailed rehabilitation protocols prescribed by Dr. Ticker following the procedure. Each set of guidelines will be unique based on type of tear, tear severity and the type of rotator cuff repair surgery performed. Patients will be expected to wear a sling or similar device for several weeks to keep the arm immobilized as the healing process begins. A physical therapy program designed to restore full range of motion and strength will be provided to each patient. The physical therapy program is critical to a full recovery, as well as to not compromise the repair completed by Dr. Ticker.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery Recovery Time

Rotator cuff repairs generally take approximately 6 to 9 months to fully recover, with some patients requiring additional time.

For additional resources on an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery, such as a single row or double row, please contact the Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC office of orthopedic shoulder surgeon Dr. Jonathan Ticker.