Rotator Cuff Repair Specialist

Brent J. Morris, MD

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon located in Houston, TX

Dr. Morris performs two different types of rotator cuff repair procedures: open surgery and minimally invasive repair. Typically Dr. Morris is able to repair most rotator cuff tears with a minimally invasive arthroscopic repair. Minimally invasive rotator cuff repair involves making smaller incisions and using special tools to repair the damage, while an open procedure involves a much larger incision. Minimally invasive surgery can sometimes have a shorter recovery period than open surgery, but a minimally invasive approach isn’t appropriate for every patient.

Rotator Cuff Repair Q & A

What is the rotator cuff?

Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that surround your shoulder joint. This structure is responsible for keeping the head of your arm bone inside your shoulder socket. Damage to the rotator cuff often causes a dull ache in your shoulder that gets worse if you try to sleep on your side.

In most cases, rotator cuff injuries occur among people who perform overhead repetitive motions with their shoulder, but it’s also possible to tear your rotator cuff with a single trauma to your shoulder.

What happens during rotator cuff repair?

The purpose of rotator cuff repair surgery is to fix the damage to your rotator cuff so you can use it normally and get relief from pain. In most cases, the surgery involves reattaching the torn tendon to the head of your upper arm bone. Dr. Morris performs two different types of rotator cuff repair procedures: open surgery and minimally invasive repair.  Typically Dr. Morris is able to repair most rotator cuff tears with a minimally invasive arthroscopic repair.

Minimally invasive rotator cuff repair involves making smaller incisions and using special tools to repair the damage, while an open procedure involves a much larger incision. Minimally invasive surgery can sometimes have a shorter recovery period than open surgery, but a minimally invasive approach isn’t appropriate for every patient. Dr. Morris reviews your case carefully and tells you which procedure is best for your needs.

When is surgery necessary?

Many minor injuries to the rotator cuff heal on their own with rest, ice, and medication. Surgery to repair a rotator cuff injury is often necessary for severe tears that are unlikely to heal properly on their own. Dr. Morris may recommend rotator cuff repair when tears cause severe, ongoing pain. He also recommends this procedure for very large tears.

If you use your shoulder frequently, having surgery may help you regain function faster than letting it heal on its own — if that’s even possible.

How long is the recovery?

The recovery period varies based on the approach Dr. Morris uses in your surgery, as well as your body’s response to the procedure. Dr. Morris can tell you approximately how long you should expect the recovery process to take.