Dr Heckroodt Laubscher

Specialist Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

Rotator Cuff Syndrome / Tear

This condition specifically relates to the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. They play an integral role in using your arm above shoulder height and behind your back. These muscles attach to the upper arm/humeral head by means of a tendon. These tendons can detach/tear from the bone leading to pain and weakness of the upper limb. Overhead functions are often difficult due to the inability to lift the arm above chest height. The cause for these tears can vary from traumatic to degenerative (“wear and tear”).

Recommended treatment and care needed for this condition:

Surgery is often needed to regain full use of the arm. Surgery entails an arthroscopic procedure where the tendon is reattached to the bone by means of titanium anchors and suturing material. Post operative recovery entails the wearing of a sling for 6 weeks 24 hours per day.
Driving is strongly discouraged during this period. After the initial 6 weeks, rehabilitation commences with the help of a physiotherapist (weekly sessions). Full pain free shoulder function is only regained at 3 to 6 months after surgery.

Read about some more common shoulder ailments below.