4 Procedures that May Be Used in a Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

If you experience pain, lack of arm or shoulder mobility, or clicking and popping sensations when you move your arm, you may have a rotator cuff injury. Renowned San Francisco orthopedic surgeon James Chen, MD, offers minimally invasive surgical options to help you regain the use of your shoulder once more.

Illustration of rotator cuff. 4 procedures may be used in repairing rotator cuff

To provide quality, personalized care, Dr. Chen relies on four procedures. Learn more about these options.

Repair of the Shoulder Labrum

The shoulder labrum is a thick piece of cartilage that connects to the edge of your shoulder’s socket and helps keep the ball of the joint where it should be. The labrum can tear in a few ways, including:

  • Along the edge of the labrum
  • Entirely off the bone
  • Where it attaches to the bicep tendon

A labrum repair treatment plan will depend on where the tear occurred and what kind of tear it is.

A tear along the edge of the labrum is very common and usually occurs in people over 40. It rarely causes symptoms. Sometimes, there is fraying along the edge of the labrum. In these cases, treatment may not be necessary. But if there is a large tear, it will need trimming or repairing.

When the labrum has torn off the bone, it is usually the result of an injury like a shoulder dislocation. To address this type of tear, Dr. Chen will make small incisions at the front of the shoulder and use arthroscopic techniques to suture the labrum and anchor the sutures to the bone.

Finally, if you receive an injury where your bicep tendon attaches to the labrum, the labrum will usually also be affected. For tears that occur in this area, Dr. Chen may use arthroscopic surgery to reattach the labrum to the top of the socket.

Treatment for Shoulder Bursitis

The treatment of shoulder bursitis also depends on the severity of the condition.

San Francisco orthopedic doctor James Chen, MD, can treat chronic bursitis by modifying or reducing the activities that cause swelling. You may have to wear a splint to immobilize the area.

If you have infectious bursitis, you will need to get the bursa aspirated and then take a course of antibiotics. Traumatic bursitis can also benefit from aspiration, which is the removal of fluid and blood from the bursa.

Treatment for Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder tendonitis usually occurs as a result of a sports injury, after repetitive use of the tendons, or during a sudden fall or impact. To treat shoulder tendonitis, the usual first approach includes NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as corticosteroids.

If the symptoms do not improve with rest and medication, surgery may be necessary. Experienced surgeon Dr. Chen can repair damaged tendons while at the same time removing inflamed bursae that may also cause irritation.

Preservation of the Shoulder Joint

Shoulder preservation surgery can preserve the function and structure of the shoulder. Dr. Chen performs this procedure using arthroscopic techniques, making two to three small incisions and inserting a thin camera and arthroscopic instruments.

Dr. Chen can begin by performing a debridement with capsular release, removing loose pieces of cartilage and cleaning the joint. This procedure may also involve removing the joint lining if it is inflamed.

In some cases, Dr. Chen also performs a microfracture, which involves making small holes in the bone to promote healing elements in the area of cartilage loss.

Schedule a Consultation with the Best Orthopedic Surgeon in San Francisco

For those who experience symptoms of a rotator cuff injury, turning to San Francisco shoulder doctor James Chen, MD, can be vital. He offers quality care and minimally invasive treatments that can help you get mobility back in your shoulder.

One of Dr. Chen’s focuses is arthroscopic surgery, a less invasive method that allows him to address rotator cuff tears without requiring more complex surgery.

Dr. Chen’s personalized treatment plans, excellent patient testimonials, and patient-centered approach offer the care you can depend on. Get the right diagnosis and the treatment best suited to your needs when you turn to Dr. Chen. Call today for more information about rotator cuff injuries.


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