The shoulder joint is capable of tremendous mobility to assist in the essential activities of everyday life. According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, the joint relies on a group of muscles – known as the rotator cuff -to guarantee its function for overhead and lifting activities.
Unfortunately, the rotator cuff is also commonly associated with injury. These injuries may result from a simple fall onto the shoulder or even from the buildup of simple lifting events over our lifetime.
The most common symptoms associated with rotator cuff injuries are pain, weakness and loss of motion. Symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually. Those that persist beyond a two-week period – without showing signs of relief -should be evaluated by your New Orleans orthopaedic surgeon.
During your initial evaluation Dr. Meyer will conduct a physical examination and review imaging studies in the form of an x-ray and MRI. The information collected will be used to determine the degree of damage to the rotator cuff and to help formulate the most successful treatment plan.
Depending on the degree of injury or response to conservative treatment, surgical intervention may be required in order to decrease pain and improve function of the shoulder. Traditional rotator cuff repair is performed by direct inspection of the rotator cuff, which is performed through a three- to four-inch incision on the shoulder via the deltoid muscle.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon reports that arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a new surgical technique that has evolved over the last decade. Using this technique, the rotator cuff is repaired through three to four one-centimeter incisions on the shoulder.
Through these small incisions, the rotator cuff is seen using a camera – known as an arthroscope – and repaired using instruments as an extension of your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon’s hands.
This less invasive technique has many benefits – the smaller incisions produce less surgical scarring and damage to the deltoid muscle, thereby limiting the risk of the muscle not regaining its full strength. In addition, the damaged cuff can be better visualized, allowing for a more anatomic repair and the ability to repair previously irreparable tears.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain – don’t hesitate – contact the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. You don’t have to live in pain!