Fully torn rotator cuff

Fully Torn Rotator Cuff Introduction

Impingement syndrome and associated rotator cuff tears are commonly encountered shoulder problems. Symptoms include pain, weakness, and loss of motion. Whether this procedure is done using a scope or through a small incision is dependent on the severity of the tear and the doctor’s preference. The method shown in these animations is with a scope.

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 and Coracoacromial Ligament Removal
A specialized surgical instrument is used to remove the inflamed and irritated bursa sac. Next, a surgical instrument is inserted into the joint and, based on surgeon discretion (or decision), the coracoacromial ligament is removed.

Removing Bone

A surgical bur is used to remove bone from the underside of the acromion. More space is created for the rotator cuff tendons.

Torn Rotator Cuff Removal

The edge of the torn rotator cuff is debrided back to healthier tissue, leaving the part of the cuff that will be reattached to the humeral head.

Rotator Cuff Reattachment

The rotator cuff is pulled over for reattachment. Suture and an anchor-like device are used to secure the rotator cuff to the humeral head.

End of Procedure

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


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