Over 95 percent of the rotator cuff repairs we perform now are arthroscopic. With arthroscopic repairs, there is much better cosmesis and patients report significantly less pain in the first six to eight weeks because there has been less trauma to the associated areas, especially the deltoid muscle. Long-acting nerve blocks are being employed with great success to minimize or even eliminate the need for narcotic pain medication after surgery. With arthroscopic repair, we can begin home exercises and range of motion within the first week of recovery.
The evidence is conclusive that the results of arthroscopic repair are as good as open repair. Finding an experienced surgeon is important. The shoulder is the most intricate joint in the body, and each tear has its own characteristics and demands. You can’t treat them all the same. The repair technique should be individually tailored to address the location, size, tension and quality of tissue tear.
Recent advancements include knotless suture anchor devices that simultaneously implant both the anchor and the suture to the humeral head. There are now resorbable anchors and orthobiological tissue implants that not only help to heal the existing tear, but also promote new tissue growth. Studies show the best outcomes occur when the procedure is performed by a “fellowship trained” surgeon who performs this surgery often.