How is a Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery with Augmentation Performed?
This procedure is typically performed with a combination of an arthroscopic and open approach to the shoulder. The torn tendon is identified and a primary repair is attempted. At this point a decision is made as to whether the tendon would benefit from an augmentation. If this is the case a graft (patch) is obtained (which is made from cadaveric dermis). The type of tear will dictate the exact configuration of the repair needed as well as the size of the patch. The patch is sewn into the rotator cuff tendon and a repair will involve using strong sutures and anchors into the bone to secure the graft and tendon. In specific situations, adjuncts may be used to assist in healing such as a marrow stimulation healing response technique or an injection of platelet rich plasma.
What Happens After Rotator Cuff Repair with Augmentation?
Following rotator cuff repair surgery with augmentation, physical therapy becomes a crucial component in the recovery process. The specific progression of physical therapy following a surgery of this nature will depend on the configuration of the tear, type of repair that was used, and the number of tendons involved. In most cases where a graft was used to help repair the injury, the progression of therapy is often slower. It is very important that patients follow the advice of their therapists and take their time with this type of therapy so that the delicate graft and surgical processes are not interrupted. Therapy will typically consist of passive range of motion, followed by active motion, strengthening, and eventually return to activities. A sling is worn for 6-8 weeks after the surgery. The procedure has been shown to be highly successful in alleviating pain and improving function of the shoulder.
To learn more about conservative rotator cuff tear treatment, or to learn more about rotator cuff repair with augmentation, please contact the office of Dr. Jeff Padalecki, orthopedic shoulder surgeon in the Austin, Texas area.