What is rotator cuff in the human body?

The rotator cuff comprises of muscles and tendons covering the ‘ball and socket’ joint of the shoulder. The shoulder joint has 3 main bones – the shoulder blade bone, the collarbone and bone of the upper arm. The muscles and tendons around the rotator cuff helps stabilise the shoulder and its functions by ensuring that the bone of the upper arm remains in the socket of the shoulder.

When and why is rotator cuff surgery required?

A strong and healthy rotator cuff enables easy movement of the arm including raising it or even twisting it around. However, the rotator cuff is also prone to damage or tear due to exertion, age-related decay or accidental injury. Such tears can often be treated with physio-therapy and medication but in many cases a surgery becomes essential to reconstruct or replace the torn tendons or muscle tissues.

Different types of rotator cuff tears

A torn or weak rotator cuff can affect the functions of the shoulder adversely and could cause painful conditions like incomplete tear and full thickness tear. The full thickness tear can be small, medium, large or massive and would require surgery on time, failing which, it may become difficult to repair the damaged tendons or tissues.

How is rotator cuff surgery performed?

Before the advent of arthroscopic surgery, it was quite a challenge for surgeons to reach the rotator cuff tendons or tissues. They had to make large incisions and split open the deltoid muscles to get access to the rotator cuff tear. It carried the risk of serious post-surgery complications if the deltoid muscles did not heal properly. Today, an expert surgeon like Dr. Manit Arora can make small incisions to get access to the rotator cuff tear without disturbing the muscular function of the deltoid area. This ensures excellent results for the patients undergoing such surgery.