Rotator cuff surgery can be a daunting procedure to prepare yourself for. Will it hurt? What does the process involve? How can you mentally and physically prepare yourself for the procedure?
It is natural to have questions about what to expect and if the process will be painful. Luckily our team brings extensive experience with rotator cuff surgeries and preparing patients for what they should expect from the experience. So let us demystify the process a bit and break down some of what you can expect.
Rotator cuffs: In simplest terms, these are tendons and muscles located around shoulder joints, which help ensure that the upper arm bone stays in the shoulder socket.
As you grow older, it becomes increasingly likely that you may experience a tear to a muscle or tendon within this group. This is a natural part of the aging process, but it does not make it any easier when the pain does come.
A tear can cause significant pain and discomfort, potentially impeding your daily routine and making it hard to go about your usual activities.
Some can simply address the issue with an intensive relaxation regimen and staying off their feet. While you may be able to treat these injuries with rest, it is often a preferred option to opt for rotator cuff surgery.
Now you know some of the root causes and a few of the symptoms you can expect when undergoing rotator cuff surgery. But what does the process itself look like?
Your doctor will consult with you on your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and recommend tests that could include an MRI or X-ray.
What will they be looking for? Common symptoms can include a range of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Shoulder/arm weaknesses
- Cracking feeling in your arm
- Shoulder aches and pains
Suppose you cannot treat yourself with rest alone. It may be time to consider rotator cuff surgery, especially if your symptoms last more than six months or stem from a significant injury and are now impeding your daily life.
There are a range of different surgeries to consider, including:
- arthroscopic repairs, which involve making tiny incisions and using a small camera to perform repairs
- mini-open repairs, which begin with an evaluation of your injury, then use open repair techniques to treat it
- or open repairs that involve a medical professional detaching parts of the shoulder muscle itself to access torn tissue underneath.
The good news is that you do not need to suffer through this process alone. Your doctor can help advise on the best treatment plan for you to restore shoulder function and reduce pain quickly.
The timeline for recovery can vary but will generally involve lots of rest and physical therapy. So it is just as important to focus on your active recovery and healing from your procedure and prepare yourself for the physical rigor of the process.
In light of this background on what to expect from rotator cuff surgery, are you struggling with these symptoms and interested in exploring your options for a personalized care plan?
Speak to our team at Dr. John Andrachuk’s office. Our office is dedicated to helping you identify the optimal surgical options and recovery timelines to help you get back to your daily activities pain-free.