Revision Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery
In most cases, Dr. Boykin will perform the revision rotator cuff repairs arthroscopically with small incisions, a camera, and tiny instruments. In certain cases it may be necessary to make a mini-open incision to adequately visualize and repair the tendon. During surgery every effort possible is made to identify the healthy tendon and reattach this to the native footprint (original site of attachment). In specific situations, adjuncts may be used to assist in healing such as a marrow stimulation healing response technique, platelet rich plasma, or patches. The type of retear will dictate the exact configuration of the repair needed.
Although rare, certain large retears, especially those that tear at the junction of the muscle and tendon, may not be able to be fully repaired. These are treated with partial repair, augmentation, or debridement. In addition, certain large tears that have retracted may put pressure on the suprascapular nerve causing pain and changes in the muscle. In these cases the traction on the nerve is released through an arthroscopic suprascapular nerve release. In most patients, revision repairs are effective in relieving pain and restoring function; however, the success rate is not as high as that of a primary rotator cuff repair.
Recovery Following a Revision Rotator Cuff Repair
After revision surgery patients are placed into a sling and an individualized physical therapy program is started. The specific progression of therapy will depend on the configuration of the tear, type of repair, and number of tendons involved. In cases of revision the progression of therapy may be slower than that involving a primary repair. It typically consists of passive range of motion followed by active motion, strengthening, and eventually return to activities. The sling is worn for 6-8 weeks post-operatively.
For additional information on rotator cuff repair or revision rotator cuff repair, or for additional resources on shoulder injuries, please contact the office of Dr. Robert Boykin, orthopedic shoulder surgeon serving Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.