Rotator Cuff (Shoulder) Surgery

Rotator cuff surgery is shoulder surgery that repairs a torn tendon between the upper arm and shoulder to decrease pain, restore shoulder function and strength.

Rotator cuff surgery is carried out by a subspecialist orthopedic shoulder surgeon to repair a tear in a rotator cuff tendon that connects the upper arm and shoulder. The surgery is typically arthroscopic (or keyhole) surgery, which is minimally invasive and leads to faster recovery times. The surgeon makes a small incision and uses small instruments, including a tiny camera called an arthroscope, to perform surgery.

Rotator Cuff Surgery With Clearpoint Health

Patients from across Canada and all over the world choose Clearpoint Health’s private medical clinics for rotator cuff surgery. Our orthopedic shoulder surgeons have years of experience and excellence in performance and outcome with this procedure. They are committed to helping you regain full motion in your shoulder so that you can take part in sports and other activities again. We strive to provide exceptional pre- and post-operative care. Combined with our patient centred philosophy, we aim to provide all our patients with a compassionate, caring, and rewarding experience. If you don’t want to ensure long wait times for shoulder surgery, explore your options for Canadian private healthcare. Clearpoint Health is a network of private medical clinics across Canada, with centres in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Calgary. Access the private shoulder surgery when you need it and return to your everyday life sooner.

#300 - 1402 8th Ave. NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1B9
#103 – 20 Wynford Drive
Toronto, Ontario M3C 1J4
6th Floor – 555 W. 8th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1C6
7-1291 Jefferson Ave
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2P 1S7

What does Rotator Cuff Surgery treat?

Rotator cuff shoulder surgery treats shoulder pain and weakness that typically results from a major injury or a number of injuries. The rotator cuff is the group of tendons and muscles that helps keep the upper arm bone in place in the shoulder socket so the arms can be raised and rotated. A rotator cuff tear can also result from overuse of the shoulder, such as from repeated overhead working, or as a consequence of another shoulder injury. When the rotator cuff is torn, the patient experiences shoulder pain and weakness that can affect daily activities and participation in sports and fitness activities. Pain and instability usually happen when the arm is raised but can spread to other motions if left untreated.

Without rotator cuff repair surgery, the shoulder may not heal properly, even after physiotherapy. This can lead to further shoulder pain and weakness and injuries, as well as affecting work and other activities.

Rotator cuff surgery is most commonly recommended in cases where:

  • X-rays or other scans show damage to the shoulder that will worsen without surgery.
  • The patient has difficulty, and/or feels pain, when putting their arm in the air, throwing, or performing similar actions involving the shoulder that highlight shoulder instability.
  • Symptoms have lasted more than 6 months and have not responded to physiotherapy.

Rotator Cuff Surgery results

Arthroscopic rotator cuff shoulder surgery can eliminate shoulder aches and pain and restore function and stability to the shoulder in patients. It also helps to reduce the risk of further shoulder damage due to shoulder instability and weakness and improves patients’ ability to more comfortably take part in daily activities and sports.

What to expect with Rotator Cuff Surgery

Rotator cuff repair surgery requires general anesthesia. This means the patient is unconscious for the duration of the procedure.

The surgeon first makes small incisions in the front, middle and, rear of the shoulder, as well as in the upper arm. These are large enough for small instruments, including an arthroscope (tiny camera) to guide the surgeon, to be inserted to perform the surgery.

The surgeon then uses sutures (rows of stitches that hold parts of the body together after surgery) to tie the two sides of the torn rotator cuff tendon back together. More sutures fix the tied-together tendon to the shoulder bone. These sutures are held in place by anchors in the bone. Both sutures and anchors eventually dissolve as the area heals.

Recovery After Rotator Cuff Surgery

After surgery, the patient is taken to a recovery room to be monitored in case there are any complications. Rotator cuff repair surgery is typically outpatient surgery that doesn’t require an overnight stay. It is necessary that the patient asks someone to drive them home.

Patients must wear a sling to keep the arm close to the body for four to six weeks and will be given instructions for what they should and shouldn’t do to ensure a full recovery. A course of physical therapy may be recommended to strengthen the shoulder and maximize the return to full function.

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, which means recovery can be faster and easier than after open surgery.

Next steps: Book your Rotator Cuff Repair consultation

If you are ready to discuss your rotator cuff repair surgery needs with our orthopedic surgeons, contact us to learn more and request a consultation today. To discover your health options your patient care coordinator will discuss:

  • Your medical history
  • Incision techniques
  • Potential risks and complications