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Rotator Cuff Repair Specialist

Sports Medicine Center

Sports Medicine & Orthopedics located in Appleton, WI

Rotator cuff injuries are one of the most painful and debilitating issues involving the shoulder. Fortunately, rotator cuff repair at Sports Medicine Center in Appleton, Wisconsin, offers relief from the pain and a return to full shoulder function. Board-certified sports medicine surgery specialist Etienne Mejia, MD, uses minimally invasive approaches to skillfully repair your rotator cuff so you can resume your sport as soon as possible. Book an appointment online or call the office for help now.

Rotator Cuff Repair Q&A

What is rotator cuff surgery?

Rotator cuff surgery is a procedure to repair the rotator cuff, which contains the tendons and muscles that maintain stability and function in your shoulder joint. 

At Sports Medicine Center, rotator cuff surgery is usually a minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Mejia performs your surgery in the AAAHC-accredited (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc.) surgery center, Arthroscopic Surgery Center LLC. With ambulatory surgery, you can have your procedure and return home that day. 

When might I need rotator cuff surgery?

If you have a sudden sports injury or traumatic accident that causes a serious rotator cuff tear, you may need surgery to get back to your pre-injury function. 

For rotator cuff damage related to wear-and-tear over the years, Dr. Mejia usually recommends nonsurgical treatment, including physical therapy, bracing, oral medication, and injections, initially. However, age-related rotator cuff tears may require surgery if:

  • Your symptoms continue for 6-12 months
  • You have a tear larger than 3 cm, with good-quality tissue around it
  • You have persistent shoulder pain despite nonsurgical care 
  • You have shoulder weakness
  • You have lingering shoulder instability

Dr. Mejia recommends rotator cuff surgery only if it can give you better function and quality of life. 

Are injections ever a good alternative to rotator cuff surgery?

Although many people get good results from cortisone injections, injections have limitations. They're never a long-term solution in the same way that rotator cuff surgery is. 

Cortisone injections can relieve your pain and allow you to participate actively in rehab. However, cortisone injections don't heal rotator cuff tears. In some cases, they may actually make them worse. 

How does rotator cuff surgery work?

Dr. Mejia typically uses arthroscopic surgery to repair and rebuild your rotator cuff. With this method, Dr. Mejia views your shoulder joint using a tiny camera. He makes small incisions to perform repairs to your rotator cuff as he watches a live feed on a high-definition monitor. 

Your surgery may vary based on the damage. During your procedure, Dr. Mejia can:

  • Trim damaged tissue (debridement)
  • Reposition your tissue tear 
  • Stitch your tendon back together
  • Secure your tendon to the humerus bone using suture anchors
  • Remove bone spurs

After your procedure, Dr. Mejia closes the incisions. You wear an arm immobilization device that holds your shoulder steady and safe for around 4-6 weeks after your surgery. Dr. Mejia then recommends a physical therapy plan that's best for your recovery goals. 

To learn how rotator cuff surgery can help you, call Sports Medicine Center or use the online booking tool now.