Rotator cuff surgery

"In more than 80% of the cases the surgery solves the problem and the symptoms caused by the inflammation of the rotator cuff".


What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff of the shoulder is a muscle-tendon structure composed of four tendons: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and the lesser round. Its basic function is to allow the rotation of the shoulder.

Rotator cuff tendinitis is a pathology generated by excessive activity, which causes pain and disability in the shoulder and upper arm. Sometimes, it can even tear.

The patient notices a progressive pain in the shoulder and arm that does not always occur after a trauma. The painful sensation is also felt at night and is accentuated by activities that require raising the arms.

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When is rotator cuff surgery indicated?

Surgery is recommended for patients who have suffered a fall and have a painful shoulder with limited mobility that does not improve with conservative treatment.

Most frequent indications for this treatment:

  • Painful shoulder.
  • Rotator cuff tear.

Do you have any of these diseases?

Surgical treatment may be indicated

How is rotator cuff surgery performed?

Although the initial treatment is conservative, when the evolution is not favorable, it may be necessary to resort to surgical intervention.

At first, the physician checks the shoulder with a small camera connected to a monitor, called an arthroscope, which is inserted through a small hole to view the tear and determine if it can be repaired.

Using the arthroscope, the surgeon can look around the entire joint to check the patient's shoulder cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

With this technique, the inflamed or damaged tissue can be cleaned and even repaired if there is a tear.

The surgeon fixes the tendon back to the bone by means of sutures that do not need to be removed, since they are reabsorbed.

Recovery from this surgery can take between three and six months, depending on the size of the tear, among other factors.

Most patients use a sling during the first week after the operation and, in some cases, they can continue to wear it for six weeks. For its part, the pain is controlled with medication.

Although the patient's return to work or sports depends on the type of surgery performed, it usually takes several months.

It should be noted that physical therapy can help the person who has had surgery regain movement and strength in the shoulder.

Where do we do it?


The Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology covers the full spectrum of congenital or acquired conditions of the musculoskeletal system including trauma and its aftermath.

Since 1986, the Clinica Universidad de Navarra has had an excellent bank of osteotendinous tissue for bone grafting and offers the best therapeutic alternatives.

Organized in care units

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Why at the Clinica?

  • Experts in arthroscopic surgery.
  • Highly qualified professionals who perform pioneering techniques to solve traumatological injuries.
  • One of the centers with the most experience in bone tumors.

Our team of professionals

Traumatology specialists with experience in rotator cuff surgery