Shoulder pain in the senior athlete is quite often due to a rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff tendon is a complex structure that stabilizes the arm bone within the shoulder socket while at the same time allowing a great deal of mobility. Most rotator tears in senior athletes can be repaired by arthroscopic shoulder surgery allowing return to recreational sporting activities with minimal or no restrictions.
Degenerative tears are commonly seen in senior athletes and are the result of repetitive stress on the shoulder from sports such as golf or tennis, reduced blood supply that inhibits the body’s ability to repair micro-tears in the tendon, or rubbing of the tendon against bone spurs within the shoulder joint that may cause fraying. Occasionally, it may be caused due to falling on an outstretched arm while biking or skiing, an awkward tennis serve or golf swing, or direct trauma to the shoulder.
As a result of the tear, the rotator cuff tendon is no longer properly attached to the bone which can lead to functional limitation and pain.
A detailed discussion of your symptoms with Dr. Denard and diagnostic imaging studies may help confirm the diagnosis. Rotator cuff tears do not heal themselves, but many can respond to conservative treatment such as physical therapy. For those that do not respond to conservative care, the best solution may be an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. As one of the leading experts in the field, Dr. Denard has performed many successful complex rotator cuff repairs using this technique. Advantages of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair include:
- Magnified Visualization: The arthroscope allows the surgeon a good look at the inside of the shoulder joint to accurately identify and repair the tear in anatomic fashion ensuring improved long-term surgical outcome.
- Low Complication Rate: Because of the small size of the surgical incision, there is less risk of infection or shoulder stiffness after surgery.
- Faster Recovery: Due to the minimally invasive nature of arthroscopic surgery, there is less inflammation and pain as well as faster healing.
If you have sustained a rotator cuff injury that is limiting your activities, consult Dr. Denard to obtain an in-depth evaluation and personalized treatment recommendation.
Dr. Patrick Denard has been voted one of the top 20 Shoulder Surgeons in North America and is the most widely published shoulder specialist in Oregon. Dr. Denard is committed to providing the highest level of Orthopedic care to his patients. Dr. Denard has advanced arthroscopy training and is able to perform the vast majority of shoulder procedures in a minimally invasive fashion, including all types of rotator cuff repairs and instability repair. These techniques allow him to repair tears that some consider “irreparable.” Providing every patient with advanced medicine and compassionate care each and every time.