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I have a question about treatment for a torn rotator cuff

What is treatment for tear of the rotator cuff?

Rotator cuff is a group of tendons that stabilise the shoulder joint. Sometimes - as a result of injury or wear and tear - one of the tendons can tear requiring sewing the torn edges together. The surgery usually involves removing of loose fragments of tendon, bursa and other debris and then sewing the torn edges.

The damage usually occurs in the tendon area, the area where the muscle joins the bone. If one or more of these tendons are torn, movement is no longer smoothly controlled and the shoulder becomes weak and painful.

The operation aims to re-attach the tendons to the bone. Sometimes the tear is too big and /or the tendon is too fragile for this to be possible and only a partial repair can be achieved.

Why would I have treatment for tear of the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder joint. The muscles can be torn through general wear and tear or after an accident/fall.

Rotator cuff damage is typically caused by repetitive overhead shoulder motions, so workers in construction, painting and carpentry are particularly at risk. 

What happens during treatment for tear of the rotator cuff?

During the operation you may be given a nerve block, which is an injection of local anaesthetic around the nerves in your neck to numb the arm. This may last several hours or even up to a day after the procedure. As the nerve block starts to wear off the feeling of sensation will return to the arm often in the form of pins and needles.

After surgery your shoulder will be supported with a sling. You should use the sling for 6 weeks. You will have 2 or 3 small skin incisions which will heal within 2 weeks. There may be some fluid (mostly water) initially oozing from the wound during the first day. This occurs because the shoulder will be irrigated with fluid throughout the operation. The leaking fluid often looks very bloody but blood loss is minimal. The incision should be protected by a waterproof plaster when having a shower. The practice nurse at your surgery will remove the stitches two weeks after the operation.

Sports injury care at Benenden Hospital

Sports injury care

Whether you're an amateur or a professional athlete, sports injuries can be a frustrating and painful part of participating in physical activity.

That's why we offer a wide range of self-pay treatment options - so you can get back to taking part in the sports you love.

Our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons

Mr Thakral

Hemant Thakral

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Thakral's specialties include shoulder arthroscopic surgery, complex joint replacements for arthritis and trauma.

Mr Neen

Daniel Neen

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Neen's specialities include clavicle surgery, shoulder surgery, elbow surgery and wrist and hand surgery.

Consultant Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon Mr Paolo Consigliere

Paolo Consigliere

Consultant Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon

Mr Paolo Consigliere specialities include arthroscopy, tendon operations and treatment for frozen shoulder.

Contact us about treatment for a torn rotator cuff

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.