The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that run from the scapula (shoulder blade) and attach to the humeral head (top of upper arm bone) by their tendons. Rotator cuff surgery is indicated for people who have a symptomatic (pain and/or weakness) rotator cuff tear that affects daily activities. When the rotator cuff is torn, the tendon usually tears off of the humerus (upper arm bone), retracts and cannot heal back on its own. Rotator cuff tears tend to progress and become larger and more symptomatic. Additionally, as time goes by the rotator cuff tendon retracts further and the rotator cuff muscle atrophies (shrinks and weakens) and degenerates (irreversibly turns to useless fat and scar tissue). This makes the repair technically more difficult (potentially not possible) and the rotator cuff becomes less likely to heal and function normally. The goal of surgery is to eliminate the shoulder pain and attempt to regain active motion and strength by reattaching the torn rotator cuff tendon back to the upper arm bone at the shoulder using sutures connected to anchors placed in the bone.
This information is provided by Dr. Steven Chudik. It is not to be used for diagnosis and treatment. For a proper evaluation and diagnosis, contact Dr. Chudik at firstname.lastname@example.org/, or 630-324-0402.