Rotator Cuff Tears: Fully Torn Rotator Cuff

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Symptoms include pain, weakness, and loss of motion.

Rotator Cuff Tears

The underside of the acromion bone rubs the rotator cuff tendons causing pain and weakness. More space will be created for the rotator cuff by removing part of the acromion and the torn rotator cuff tear will be reattached to the humeral head.


Small incisions (portals) are made around the joint. The scope and surgical instruments will go into these incisions.


The scope is inserted into the back of the shoulder joint. Saline solution flows through a tube (cannula) and into the bursa sac to expand the joint and to improve visualization. The image is sent to a video monitor where the surgeon can see inside the joint.

Bursa Sac Bone Spur Removal

A specialized shaving instrument is used to remove the inflamed and irritated bursa sac. The shaver or a surgical burr is then used to remove bone from the underside of the acromion. More space is created for the rotator cuff tendons.

Cleaning Up the Rotator Cuff

The edge of the torn rotator cuff is smoothed out and damaged tissue is removed, leaving a healthier part of the cuff that will be reattached to the humeral head.

Rotator Cuff Reattachment

The rotator cuff is pulled back to its normal position for reattachment. Sutures attached to screw-like devices (“suture anchors”) are usually used to reattach the rotator cuff to the bone of the humeral head. The anchors are screwed into the bone, leaving the sutures for repair. The sutures are passed through the torn tendon and knots are tied through the portals to attach the tendons to the bone.

End of Procedure

After the rotator cuff is reattached to the humeral head, the surgical instruments are removed and the procedure is completed.