Shoulder Procedures Three

Rotator cuff repair and subacromial decompression are both surgical procedures commonly performed on the shoulder to treat various shoulder conditions, including rotator cuff tears and impingement syndrome.

Rotator cuff repair is a surgical procedure that aims to repair a tear in the rotator cuff tendons, which are the four tendons that attach the muscles of the rotator cuff to the upper arm bone. This procedure is typically performed using arthroscopic techniques, which involve small incisions and the use of a tiny camera called an arthroscope to visualise the inside of the shoulder joint. The surgeon may also use small instruments to repair the torn tendons. In some cases, open surgery may be required for more complex tears. Specialising in rotator cuff repair, Melbourne specialists usually perform under general anaesthesia, and patients are positioned in a way that allows the surgeon to access the shoulder joint. The surgeon will then assess the extent of the rotator cuff tear and proceed with the appropriate repair technique, such as reattaching the tendon to the bone using sutures or anchors. After the repair is completed, the incisions are closed, and the shoulder may be immobilised using a sling to protect the repair during the initial healing period.

Subacromial decompression, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure aimed at relieving shoulder impingement syndrome, which occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become compressed or irritated as they pass through a narrow space called the subacromial space. This can cause pain, weakness, and limited range of motion in the shoulder. During subacromial decompression, the surgeon removes or shaves a small portion of the acromion, which is a bony prominence on the shoulder blade that can impinge on the rotator cuff tendons. This is typically done using arthroscopic techniques, similar to rotator cuff repair, and may involve the use of small instruments and an arthroscope to visualise the area. The goal of the procedure is to create more space for the rotator cuff tendons to move freely, reducing impingement and relieving symptoms. Rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy are typically prescribed after both rotator cuff repair and subacromial decompression to help restore shoulder strength, range of motion, and function.

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