Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Proper Protocol Following Rotator Cuff Surgery

For years, my practice has found that immobilizing the Rotator Cuff for 3-4 weeks after surgery has led to more positive post-surgical results.  Recently a study was released from the Center for Special Surgery that confirms doing this leads to more favorable healing. 

The rotator cuff consists of 4 small muscles in the shoulder blade and allows the arm to rotate.  A rotator cuff tear occurs when the muscles are torn from the bone in the upper arm. When torn, surgery is often needed to repair the injury.  Surgery is performed to reattach the torn muscle to the bone. 

Historically, many surgeons have pushed to have the patient start physical therapy one week post-surgery. However, we have found that allowing the rotator cuff to stay immobile for 3-4 weeks has led to better post-operative results. 

Recent studies have shown that up to 20-40% of Rotator Cuff Repairs fail or patients experience decreased strength and range of motion.  Due to this alarming number, the Center for Special Surgery conducted a study on post-operative protocol and found that immobilization for a longer period, does help the healing process. 

At Skyview Orthopedic, we strive to offer our patients the highest quality care and stay current with all the latest advances in orthopedic care.  We are proud to see that new studies confirm the protocol that we use is the best option for our patients.