Costa Rica, Orthopedic Surgeries, Shoulder Surgery

Rotator Cuff Repair in Costa Rica

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. A rotator cuff injury can include any type of irritation or overuse of those muscles or tendons, and cause a dull ache in the shoulder, which often worsens when you try to sleep on the involved side. It is among the most common conditions affecting the shoulder.

A rotator cuff tear most often occurs where the tendon attaches to the bone.  Rotator cuff repair is surgery to repair a torn tendon in the shoulder. The procedure can be done with a large (open) incision or with shoulder arthroscopy, which uses small buttonhole-sized incisions.

Your surgeon will decide on an approach to the surgery, depending on his/her experience, the size of the tear,  the condition of the tendon tissue and bone, and your individual anatomy, and will discuss with you the best procedure to meet your individual health needs.  In addition, there may be other existing shoulder problems: osteoarthritis, bone spurs, impingement (tendon or muscles being squeezed or pinched), bursitis (Inflammation or swelling due to increased fluid), or other soft tissue tears.  that may possibly be repaired  as well during the surgery.

There are three techniques most commonly used for rotator cuff repair:

  • Traditional open repair, sometimes required if the tear is large or complex
  • Athroscopic repair: small incisions to insert a tiny camera and instruments, with visual help of a monitor
  • Mini-open repair, a combination of the above two.

Surveys of patients reveal that all three methods provide pain relief, improved strength, and overall satisfaction — all at about the same level.

The AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) reports that work is in process to provide new innovations:  dissolvable anchors to hold stitches in the bone in place during the healing process, improved methods in athroscopic surgery to improve the rate of tendon healing, and tissue grafts and injections (orthobiologics) that promote growth of new tissue in the body and foster healing.


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