What is Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair?

Injuring or tearing your rotator cuff can be debilitating and negatively impact the quality of your life. You may find yourself less able to do the things you used to. There is a specialized surgical procedure that can help. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair may be the best option for you.

What Is Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair?

This is a term for when your surgeon chooses to use arthroscopic surgery methods to repair tears and injury to your rotator cuff, which is located in your shoulder.
Arthroscopic surgery is seen as much less invasive than traditional methods, so your surgeon may prefer to use it if they can.

What Is The Procedure Like?

The surgery will be done on an outpatient basis. You may need general anesthesia, spinal numbing, and/or local numbing to the area you’ll have the operation on. After you are asleep or the area is numbed sufficiently, your surgeon will make a small incision that allows a camera and a light to be inserted into your shoulder.

Once the camera and light are inserted, they allow the surgeon to see by sending video to a screen they are connected to. The next part entails an infusion of sterile liquid to the joint. This will allow the surgeon more visibility of the area so they are able to full assess the amount of damage and how to best proceed.

If your surgeon is going to be using arthroscopic methods, a few more small incisions will be made to enable surgical tools to reach the area. Your surgeon will use these tools to reattach tendons, cut, hold, or shave as needed. This is individual in each surgery.

In some cases, when the initial arthroscope is inserted, the surgeon may decide surgery isn’t needed. They could also decide that a traditional method is needed in your situation.

Benefits Of Arthroscopic Surgery

When this option is feasible, it can have many benefits over other forms of surgery. Patients and providers like this method because:

  • It’s far less invasive than traditional surgery
  • It has a faster recovery period
  • It leaves patients with less pain and stiffness in their joints


Recovery will be different for each patient. Here are some basic guidelines of what to expect after arthroscopic surgery:

  • You’ll have several small wounds
  • You need to avoid getting the wounds wet early in their healing, so they should be covered while showering
  • You may have lifting or exercise restrictions temporarily
  • You may need a sling
  • You may be prescribed blood thinners and/or pain medications afterward
  • You’ll have follow up appointments for suture removal and check ups

Your surgeon will work with you after surgery to make sure you heal well.

If you think you need rotator cuff surgery, call Plano Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center today to book a consultation.