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Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair


To re-attach the torn Rotator Cuff tendon back to the bone (Humerus)

Most commonly supraspinatus tendon- elevates the arm away from the body

Can involve Infraspinatus- rotates arm outwards or subscapularis- rotates arm inwards/up the back


Surgery type:        

Arthroscopic (keyhole) 


General (asleep) usually with a nerve block


Tendon tear is inspected for size and tendon quality

Is tendon is repairable? (depends on size, duration, patient age, systemic diseases)

Tendon edge and bone prepared with arthroscopic instruments

Stitches passed through tendon edge with special device

Anchors to hold stitches and therefore tendon to bone threaded on to stitch

Awl to make hole in the bone

Anchors placed into holes adjusting the tension on the repair to maximise healing

Bone above the tendon trimmed- see Subacromial Decompression



45-120 mins      


Variable- 4-6 scars 1cm each- back, side and front.

Depends on size and shape of the tear



Up to 4 weeks. Wean out at 3-4 weeks- depending on size of the tear

May mobilise out of sling avoiding flexion/abduction as comfortable from day 1




3 months- non contact sports, cycling, jogging, breast stroke

6 months- contact sports

9 months- overhead sports



Sedentary jobs- return as pain allows

Manual jobs- may need to adjust activity for up to 3 months



From 8 weeks dependant on pain and ROM

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