Specialty Surgeon Complete Packaged Procedure for a Rotator Cuff Repair – Shoulder Arthroscopy. In the past, repair of the rotator cuff tendons usually required an open incision three or four inches in length. As surgeons have become more comfortable using the arthroscope to work in and around the shoulder joint, things have changed. Using the ability to see inside the joint, the surgeon can then place other instruments into the joint and perform surgery while watching what is happening on the TV screen. The arthroscope lets the surgeon work in the joint through a very small incision. This may result in less damage to the normal tissues surrounding the joint, leading to faster healing and recovery. If your surgery is done with the arthroscope, you may be able to go home the same day.
To perform the rotator cuff repair using the arthroscope, several small incisions are made to insert the arthroscope and special instruments needed to complete the procedure. These incisions are small, usually about one-quarter inch long. It may be necessary to make three or four incisions around the shoulder to allow the arthroscope to be moved to different locations to see different areas of the shoulder. A small plastic, or metal, tube is inserted into the shoulder and connected with sterile plastic tubing to a special pump. Another small tube allows the fluid to be removed from the joint. This pump continuously fills the shoulder joint with sterile saline (salt water) fluid. This constant flow of fluid through the joint inflates the joint and washes any blood and debris from the joint as the surgery is performed. There are many small instruments that have been specially designed to perform surgery in the joint. Some of these instruments are used to remove torn and degenerative tissue. Some of these instruments nibble away bits of tissue and then vacuum them up from out of the joint. Others are designed to burr away bone tissue and vacuum it out of the joint. These instruments are used to remove any bone spurs that are rubbing on the tendons of the shoulder and smooth the under surface of the acromion and AC joint. Once any degenerative tissue and bone spurs are removed, the torn rotator cuff tendon can be reattached to the bone. Special devices have been designed to reattach these ligaments. These devices are called suture anchors.
Suture anchors are special devices that have been designed to attach tissue to bone. In the past, many different ways were used to attach soft tissue (such as ligaments and tendons) to bone. The usual methods have included placing stitches through drill holes in the bone, special staples and screws with special washers all designed to hold the tissue against the bone until healing occurred. Most of these techniques required larger incisions to be able to see what was going on and to get the hardware and soft tissue in the right location. Today, suture anchors have simplified the process and created a much stronger way of attaching soft tissue to bone. These devices are small enough that the can be placed into the appropriate place in the bone through a small incision using the arthroscope. Most of these devices are made of either metal or a special plastic-like material that dissolves over time. This is the anchor portion of the device. The anchor is drilled into the bone where the surgeon wished to attach the soft tissue. Sutures are attached to the anchor and threaded through the soft tissue and tied down against the bone. Rehabilitation after rotator cuff surgery can be a slow process.
Rotator Cuff Repair – Shoulder Arthroscopy treatment cost includes the facility fee, physician’s fee, bracing (if needed), cost of drugs and any related medical procedures required to administer the plan of care. Not included are diagnostic studies, Medication Prescription costs, consultations with additional specialists and cost of complication management; travel, food and lodging.