Total Shoulder
Rotator Cuff Repair

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Shoulder Surgery


The rotator cuff is a common source of pain in a wide range of patients. Most patients with rotator cuff tears have an unusual shape to the bone in their shoulder which has caused rubbing of the bone against the rotator cuff over time. This abnormal shape, or bone spur, is the underlying cause of the tear in many patients. This spur must be removed in order for a repair to be successful and is the source of much of the pain. With removal of the spur, or decompression, the area for the cuff to move is increased and the shoulder is able to move in a less impinged fashion. Many patients have arthritis where the collar bone meets the shoulder (the AC joint). This may cause bone spurs and may also cause pain. Many patients will need the end of the collar bone (clavicle) removed. This procedure is called a distal clavicle resection or Mumford.


Throughout time rotator cuff pain has been treated with cortisone injections over and over again until the entire cuff was damaged beyond repair. Old style operations for rotator cuff tears consisted of large incisions and were painful and unpredictable. With new methods of all arthroscopic rotator cuff repair healing is more reliable and predictable.


When arthroscopic repair began only small tears were being addressed. Now even the largest tears can be repaired. In fact the larger tears are better fixed and have a higher healing rate with arthroscopic techniques. Many patients have been told their tears are too large for arthroscopic repair and must be opened. Or that the end of the collar bone must be removed and therefore must be opened. This is simply not true. This only means that this surgeon is not fully experienced in arthroscopic repair and has not progressed to the point that he feels comfortable performing these operations with this approach. Dr. Allison repairs all rotator cuffs through arthroscopic techniques, no matter how large. In fact, Dr. Allison has had many patients that have had large open incisions for rotator cuff repair and those surgeries have failed. These patients were told their tear was just too large. Some of those tears were too large; however, many of these patients were reconstructed with arthroscopic techniques and were able to have good repairs and good results. In this day and age no one has to suffer the pain and complication rate of an open rotator cuff repair. There are simply less painful and more reliable options.

Torn Rotator Cuff


Dr. Allison
Dr. Allison performs all rotator cuff repairs, along with many other shoulder surgeries, through all arthroscopic techniques.

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