ROTATOR CUFF TEAR
THE CONDITION :
The diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinopathy is primarily clinical. Clinical examination helps detect tendon pain or rupture, as well as other possible causes of pain.
The initial imaging tests often performed are X-rays. They can reveal, among other things, small “flakes” of calcium, corresponding to intratendinous calcifications, which indicate tendon degeneration.
Surgical intervention for rotator cuff tendinopathy is not always necessary. Many patients with partial tears can experience functional improvement and reduced pain with well-conducted non-surgical treatment.
Surgical Treatment :
Surgical intervention is proposed if you have a large or transfixing tear, or if non-surgical methods are insufficient to heal a partial tear.
The surgery is most often performed arthroscopically, with 3 or 4 small skin incisions, each approximately 1 cm in size.
In the majority of cases, this is an outpatient surgery. You will return home on the same day with immobilization using a Dujarrier-type sling for 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the case.
Post-operative rehabilitation begins at 2-3 weeks. It starts with passive movements in the first month, followed gradually by gentle active movements.
Most patients regain shoulder function and strength within three to six months after surgery, but full recovery can take up to 12-18 months.
PROGNOSIS AND PREVENTION :
Surgical repair yields very good results in over 75% of cases. Movement precautions and careful selection of types of activity remain essential, even after successful tendon repair.
Just because a tendon has healed well does not mean it cannot be damaged again, especially if repetitive harmful movements are resumed.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSULT ?
You should consult if you experience:
- Chronic pain in the shoulder and arm.
- Pain that worsens at night or interferes with sleep.
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness in the shoulder joint area.
- Motor weakness in the shoulder or arm.