Rotator cuff repair


The rotator cuff consists of four muscles and their tendons. These surround the ball of the shoulder joint. The muscles fine tune the movements of the shoulder joint and assist other large muscles in moving the arm. The tendons run under the acromion (part of the shoulder blade) where they are very vulnerable to being damaged. This can lead to a tear resulting in a painful, weak shoulder.

The Operation

A repair involves stitching the torn tendon back onto its attachment to the arm bone (Humerus) through keyhole surgery.




General Advice

This procedure could be performed as a day case or you may be admitted to hospital for a day.

Your arm will remain in a special sling for at least 3 weeks. This means that you will be unable to use the arm throughout this time and you will be unable to return to work.

The length of time that you will be off work will depend on your job but expect a minimum of 3 weeks.

Out patient physiotherapy will be organised for when you leave hospital and may well continue for some considerable time.

You will be guided through the rehabilitation programme by your physiotherapist. It is of the utmost importance that you stick strictly to this programme.



As with all surgery there is a risk of some complications. These are rare, but you should be aware of them before your operation. They include:

Complications relating to the anaesthetic, A stiff shoulder, Shoulder infection, A further tear of the tendon - the larger the tear the more chance there is of this occurring, Failure to regain strength (dependant upon the size of the tear)

If you require further information please discuss with the doctors either in clinic or on admission.