The patient’s symptoms included:
- Great difficulty raising his arm overhead.
- Significant pain and weakness in the shoulder.
- Intense pain at night that caused difficulty sleeping.
- Inability to raise arm above shoulder level.
The patient underwent a shoulder arthroscopy; which included removal of a bone spur above the tear and a rotator cuff repair. In our practice, we strive to restore the natural anatomy of the body in any surgical procedure. In this case, we used bio-absorbable anchors and sutures to re-attach the torn tendons to the anatomically correct location of the bone. Anatomic re-attachment helps promote healing and reduces the risk of subsequent injuries.
Following surgery, the patient was placed in a sling for 4 weeks and began physical therapy 3 weeks after surgery. We have seen great success in keeping the shoulder protected for 3-4 weeks following a rotator cuff repair. This allows the shoulder to heal and reduces the risk of repeat tears, shoulder weakness and decreased range of motion. In a recent study at the Center for Special Surgery, this was protocol confirmed as the preferred option to beginning physical therapy sooner. (Click to view full article from the Center for Special Surgery)
It is important to note that upon the conclusion of formal physical therapy, continued strength training at home is necessary to ensure a full recovery. Most rotator cuff repairs require a full year of healing before full strength returns. By being diligent and continuing a home-based strength training routine, a patient can increase his/her chances for a full recovery without any lingering symptoms. (Click here for some simple strength training exercises for the rotator cuff)
Our office specializes in injuries of the shoulders and knee. We treat each patient as an individual and carefully evaluate the best treatment plan in each case. If you would like to make an appointment, please call 973-300-1553 or visit www.advocareorthosportsmed.com to learn more.