“About 80 to 90% of the rotator cuff repairs I perform now are arthroscopic,” says Mark Schwartz, MD, a Virtua Health orthopedic surgeon. He notes that with arthroscopy: “There is much better cosmesis and patients report significantly less pain in the first six to eight weeks post-op because there has been less trauma to the associated areas, especially the deltoid muscle.” Unlike open surgery, adds Dr. Schwartz: “With arthroscopic repair, we can begin rehabilitating patients within the first week.”
Alternative to open surgery
“It’s incredible. The evidence is conclusive that this procedure is at least as good as open surgery, which has always been the gold standard,” says Dr. Schwartz.
Recent advancements include a knotless suture device that simultaneously implants both the anchor and the suture to the humeral head. Dr. Schwartz also reports that dissolvable anchors and orthobiological tissue implants are now available. “These devices not only promote new tissue growth, but also help heal the existing tear. It’s just amazing what we can do now.”