FAQs on Rotator Cuff by Dr. Shekhar Srivastav | Leading Arthroscopic Surgeon

FAQs on Rotator Cuff by Dr. Shekhar Srivastav

Que: Why is rotator cuff surgery so painful?
Dr. Shekhar : Rotator cuff surgery is usually seen in elderly people and it is of degenerative nature. Because of poor vascular supply, the rotator cuff becomes inflamed, gets torn and most of the time it gets degenerated without any injury. In young persons, the rotator cuff is torn when there is an injury. In elderly persons, Rotator cuff injury happens because of degeneration.

Rotator cuff surgery is usually arthroscopic surgery wherein we make 3-4 small keyhole incisions and through our camera we repair the rotator cuff. Here the results are very good but the biological healing takes around 2-3 months. So till that time there is some pain and stiffness. When done with proper technique, it’s not that painful and usually gives very good results.


Que: What are the other treatments for rotator cuff tear other than surgery?

Dr. Shekhar : The rotator cuff tear can be of various grades. It can be a small tear, medium tear or a large great tear. A medium or a large tear requires surgery as it won’t heal on its own and will gradually progress . The torn rotator cuff retracts back and it becomes difficult to bring it back. So that definitely requires surgery. But small tears can be managed conservatively with  physiotherapy, strengthening of muscles around the shoulder or pain medications. In fact, there are many patients who have tears but no symptoms. That doesn’t mean that all tears require surgery. Only those tears which are causing pain and problems to the patient require surgery.


Que:  What is the best way to recover fast from ‘ Rotator cuff surgery ’ ?

Dr. Shekhar : When we do rotator cuff surgery, we put the torn rotator back to its footprints and we try to restore the anatomy. we can only fix the tear and not heal it. Healing is a natural process. It normally takes two to three months and we cannot fast forward it.Everything depends on how well you fix the tear . If the tear is fixed properly , the healing is better. I always tell my patients that I will fix it but god will heal it.That will take around three months .

Que: What muscles make up the rotator cuff ?

Dr. Shekhar : The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that surround the shoulder joint. It is made up of four muscles – Subscapularis (in the front) , Supraspinatus (in the top ) , Infraspinatus and Teres minor (behind ). These four muscles surround the shoulder joint and are responsible for its movement and stability.


About Dr Shekhar Srivastav

Dr Shekhar Srivastav heads the Orthopedics Department and is the senior orthopedics consultant performing Joint replacement & Arthroscopic Surgeries of Knee & Shoulder Joints. He has a keen interest in management of Knee & Shoulder problems and is one best robotic knee replacement surgeon in Delhi and North India. He has performed thousands of Knee Replacement ( Primary, Revision & Unicondylar replacement) & Arthroscopic Surgeries ( ACL, Meniscus, Cartilage surgeries). Similarly in Shoulder he’s an expert in performing Shoulder Arthroscopies ( Bankart repair, Rotator Cuff Repair) & Shoulder replacement Surgeries ( Total & Reverse Shoulder Replacements). He has keen interest in following area of Orthopedics: