Shoulder tendon operation

Usually a painful tendon will get better by itself in a few days, with rest. However more severe or persistent cases of tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon sheath) may require treatment.

Common questions

What is a shoulder tendon operation?

Usually a painful tendon will get better by itself in a few days, with rest. However more severe or persistent cases of tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon sheath) may require treatment. In some cases, when treatments such as physiotherapy are not effective, surgery may be needed. The type of surgery required will depend on where the problem lies, and its likely cause. Surgery may be required for some tendon injuries, but is usually considered only when other non-invasive therapies have been tried. Surgery is not always effective and can sometimes carry risks of scarring, rupturing the tendon and wound infection.

Tendon surgery is usually carried out using a ‘keyhole’ technique called arthroscopy, particularly in the knee and shoulder. This technique requires only a series of small cuts in the skin to allow the surgeon to see inside the joint and to carry out the procedure using small instruments. This technique reduces scarring and minimises recovery time.

Why would I have a shoulder tendon operation?

Depending on the condition being treated, surgery may be used to remove a damaged part of a tendon or to remove any abnormal pieces of tissue or lumps from the tendon. It can also be used to repair a ruptured tendon or to encourage a tendon to heal.

What happens during a shoulder tendon operation?

Tendon surgery is usually carried out using a ‘keyhole’ technique called arthroscopy, particularly in the knee and shoulder. This technique requires only a series of small cuts in the skin to allow the surgeon to see inside the joint and to carry out the procedure using small instruments. This technique reduces scarring and minimises recovery time.

What should I expect after a shoulder tendon operation?

You may have some pain or discomfort after the operation which we’ll help you manage with painkillers. We’ll tell you how to care for your wound and, if you’ve had non-dissolvable stitches, we’ll make an appointment for you to have them removed.

A programme of physiotherapy will usually be suggested to help speed recovery. You’ll probably need some time off work, depending on the exact nature of your surgery.

Any surgery carries some risks. Specific risks associated with tendon surgery include; bleeding from the site of the operation, wound infection, and the possibility that the surgery will not be successful in achieving the desired outcome.

Contact Benenden Hospital

It’s easy to make an appointment; you can ask your GP or give us a call on 01580 230661.