Arlington, Texas Rotator Cuff Surgeon - Dr. Kevin Kruse

Arlington, Texas Rotator Cuff Surgeon

Dr. Kevin Kruse is a renowned Arlington, Texas rotator cuff repair surgeon with extensive training and expertise in performing shoulder repair and replacement surgeries. Shoulder pain and injuries, if severe, can hamper your arm’s functionality and degrade your quality of life. Here is all you need to know about rotator cuff tear and repair from diagnosis to aftercare.

Arlington Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff refers to a group of muscles and tendons that help secure the arm within the shoulder joint by linking the humerus and upper arm bones to the shoulder bone. The rotator cuff comprises muscle groups such as supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus, and teres minor.

Together, these muscle groups and tendons form a protective cuff around the humerus and glenoid cavities. A healthy and properly functioning rotator cuff helps provide stability and improves mobility for a broad range of shoulder movements.

Common Causes of Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff injuries can happen to persons of all ages. However, the risk of such injuries increases with age. Weightlifters, swimmers, baseball, tennis, and hockey players are most at risk of developing shoulder pain muscle tears and cuff injuries. Generally, any activity that involves repeated use of overhead arm movements raises the risk of rotator cuff tears.

 Here are some of the most common causes of shoulder pain and rotator cuff injuries:

  • Wear and tear of shoulder tendons due to aging (middle aged adults) or playing sports

  • A major injury from engaging in intensive overhead activities such as baseball pitching

  • Sudden and undue pressure on the shoulders arising from lifting heaving items over your head 

  • Shoulder pain from motor accidents

Symptoms of Shoulder Cuff Injuries

  •  Severe pain and weakness of the shoulder joint

  • Extreme discomfort when moving or rotating your arms

  • Inability to pull or lift items overhead

  • Limited motion range at the shoulder joint

Arlington Rotator Cuff Surgeon and Repair Options

Repairing a torn rotator cuff entails reattaching torn tendons to the upper arm bones. The corrective procedure can be performed through open shoulder surgery or arthroscopically (minimally invasive surgery). To perform the arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision to facilitate the passage of the miniature arthroscope. The camera helps the surgeon assess the extent of the rotator cuff injury.

Shoulder X-rays, ultrasound procedures, and CT scans help the surgical team understand the injury area and layout in certain positions of the surrounding tissues.

Two or more incisions are necessary to facilitate the insertion of specialized surgical tools to remove damaged tendons.

If the tendon tear is severe, the surgeon relies on suture anchors to reattach the severed tendons to the humerus and upper arm bones. The surgeon then seals the incision points and wraps the wound with a bandage.

Open Surgery

Open surgery is necessary when the rotator cuff injury is severe and covers a large area. The surgeon makes one large incision between 2 to 4 inches over the affected area to allow easy access to torn muscles and severed tendons. The traditional open-surgical approach requires two to three hours to complete, while the arthroscopic procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours.

 During the rotator repair shoulder surgery, the patient will be under partial or general sedation. Dr. Kruse’s facility relies on specialized tools and minimally invasive techniques, guaranteeing faster healing and improved outcomes even for massive rotator tears.

Post-care and Recovery

Most minor shoulder cuff surgical repairs do not require inpatient admission or an overnight stay at the treatment facility. However, complex rotator cuff injuries that require open surgery may warrant an inpatient admission for a few days, depending on the surgical complexity. After undergoing rotator cuff surgery, you’ll head to the recovery room, where antibiotics and aftercare begin to quell swelling and numb shoulder pain. The doctor will monitor your blood pressure, circulation, and sensitivity of the affected arm to decide whether you need discharge or an extended stay at the facility for additional shoulder pain management.

Even after discharge, the affected arm and shoulder will require sling support for 3 to 6 weeks to protect the affected area and fasten the healing process. Physical therapy is integral to the recovery phase because it helps restore mobility and strength in the affected shoulder. You will receive instructions from your doctor on cleaning and prepping the wound area to prevent infection around the incision points.

During the first few weeks after surgery, you should avoid strenuous activities that may put undue stress on the affected shoulder.

A doctor’s appointment will be necessary after every two to three weeks to assess the progress of recovery. It may take a few months before you can participate in sports or any activity that involves strength and wider range of shoulder motion.

 Risk Factors

 Rotator cuff repairs are generally minimally invasive procedures but do carry a few risk factors that may include:

  • Nerve damage

  • Wound infection

  • Blood clots

  • Shoulder inflammation and stiffness

Arlington, TX Rotator Cuff Specialist 

Dr. Kruse performs extensive physical examinations that consider a patient’s medical history to ensure an accurate diagnosis before recommending any treatment procedure. His specialized clinic serves patients in Arlington, Texas, and throughout Texas.

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