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Rotator Cuff Surgery

At Advanced Center for Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery, several of our orthopedic surgeons specialize in rotator cuff surgery, including Dr. Blotter, Dr. Davenport,  Dr. Doppelt, Dr. Neuschwander and Dr. Pearson. The Advanced Center for Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery has been performing orthopedic surgery, such as rotator cuff repair, for more than three decades. That means your surgery will be performed by a team whose experience is virtually unmatched in Marquette, the surrounding Upper Peninsula, and throughout Northern Michigan.

The shoulder is a “ball and socket” joint consisting of the upper arm bone (humerus) and a shallow indentation in the shoulder blade (scapula). It’s this shallowness that permits a great range of motion but also makes it easy to dislocate. The shoulder joint is surrounded by a “cuff” of muscles and tendons that stabilize it. Occasionally, the tendons at the ends of the rotator cuff muscles can become torn due to trauma, such as dislocation, or the repetitive stress associated with many sports or other activities.

When the rotator cuff is torn, it typically causes severe pain and restricts arm motion. If nonsurgical treatments are ineffective, surgery may be required to repair the injured area. There are typically three options for surgical rotator cuff repair:

  • Open Repair—in this procedure, an incision is made in the shoulder, through which the surgeon is able to view and repair the affected tendons.
  • Arthroscopic Repair—an arthroscopy involves the insertion of a tiny camera (arthroscope) into the area to be repaired. The camera’s images are then used to allow the surgeon to guide miniature surgical instruments to make the repair. This has the advantage of requiring a series of small incisions rather than a large one.
  • Mini-Open Repair—this procedure is a combination of the above two, with an arthroscope used to assess the injury and a small incision made through which the surgeon repairs the tendons.

Rotator cuff repair is typically a minor surgical procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis. As with any surgical intervention, the patient typically has to undergo a recuperation process involving follow-up care and physical therapy, depending on the particular situation.

To learn more about what to expect when you undergo rotator cuff surgery, please visit our surgery prep and recovery page.

Specialty Reference: 
Shoulder & Elbow