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The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. These muscles and tendons help to keep the shoulder joint stable and allow for a wide range of motion. However, injuries to the rotator cuff are common, especially in athletes who engage in overhead sports or in people with jobs that require repetitive overhead motions.
Rotator cuff tears can occur as a result of degeneration, trauma, or repetitive use. If left untreated, a rotator cuff tear can lead to pain, weakness, and loss of function in the affected shoulder. The severity of the tear will determine the type of treatment that is necessary. In some cases, conservative treatment such as physical therapy, rest, and anti-inflammatory medication may be effective. However, for more severe tears, surgical intervention may be necessary.
There are several different surgical procedures that can be used to repair a torn rotator cuff. One of the most effective and minimally invasive options is a rotator cuff repair with subacromial spacers. This procedure involves the use of small, biodegradable implants that are placed between the acromion (a bony projection at the top of the shoulder blade) and the rotator cuff tendons.
The subacromial spacer serves two purposes. First, it helps to relieve pressure on the rotator cuff tendons, which can reduce pain and inflammation. Second, it creates space between the acromion and the rotator cuff, allowing for better healing and reducing the risk of re-tearing.
This procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and requires only a small incision. Patients may be able to return to normal activities within a few weeks, depending on the severity of the tear and the success of the surgery.
In summary, a rotator cuff repair with subacromial spacers can be an effective treatment option for patients with a torn rotator cuff. This procedure can help to relieve pain and inflammation, create space for healing, and reduce the risk of re-tearing. If you are experiencing symptoms of a rotator cuff tear, it is important to consult with an orthopedic specialist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.