Dr Heckroodt Laubscher

Specialist Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

Rotator Cuff Surgery

This procedure is performed in cases where one (or more) of the four rotator cuff tendons have ruptured. Repair is essential as a ruptured tendon cannot heal / reattach spontaneously onto its footprint. Note that this applies to full thickness tears only. A partial rotator cuff tear is a different diagnosis and its management differs from a full thickness tear. Rotator cuff tears can present at different stages of progression such as massive, large, small or partial. These different stages as well as other patient related factors influence surgical outcomes.

Procedure duration:
Ais dependant on the above factors and therefore unique to each individual case. In general the duration is between 60-90 minutes.

Post operative:
rehabilitation entails the wearing of a sling (shoulder immobiliser) for 6 weeks whereafter rehabilitation can commence. During this 6 week period the sling is worn for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The sling may only be removed during the patients home exercise routine (which will be provided before discharge) or when showering. Driving with the sling is dangerous and is strongly discouraged. Driving without the sling can compromise the repair and therefore the success of the surgery.
Complete and full recovery occurs between 3 to 6 months.