Living with rotator cuff pain is unnecessary, because it can easily be corrected by an orthopedic surgeon. While having rotator cuff surgery is a major undertaking, once you have healed and rehabilitated the joint with some physical therapy, then you will be pain-free again and can go back to enjoying your life.

The procedure to correct your rotator cuff involves three steps:

  • removal of bone spurs
  • removal of scar tissue
  • repair of tendon damage

Below is some information about each of the three steps of the surgical rotator cuff repair procedure:

Step 1: Removal of Bone Spurs

When your shoulder joint is damaged by overuse, injury, or disease, it tries to heal itself and sometimes grows extra bone cells during the process. These clusters of excess bone cells are known as bone spurs.

Any bone spurs that are found in your shoulder joint are removed during the rotator cuff repair surgery. Removal of the bone spurs allows the tendons of your shoulder to move more freely within the joint, without the irritation that causes inflammation and pain in your shoulder.

Step 2: Removal of Scar Tissue

Just as is the case with bone spurs, any tendons in your shoulder joint that have become damaged over the years have tried to heal themselves by forming scar tissue. While some scar tissue is good, excessive amounts of scar tissue builds up and leads to restricted movement in your shoulder joint.

During rotator cuff surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will use surgical tools to remove any excess scar tissue that has accumulated on your shoulder's tendons. This gives the tendons the ability to heal with only a single layer of scar tissue and frees up room within your shoulder joint.

Step 3: Repair of Tendon Damage

As a final step of the rotator cuff surgical repair process, your orthopedic surgeon will repair and reattach any damaged tendons in your shoulder. Torn tendons will be cut into the healthy tissue and surgically attached to each other to allow them to heal correctly. Any tendons that have become dislodged from their attachment at the end of your shoulder's bones will be surgically reattached as well. Any damaged tissue will be removed to give the tendon the best chance for reattachment.


No one ever wants to have surgery, but rotator cuff surgery allows you to take back your life and live free from shoulder joint pain again. If you have additional questions about this procedure, please speak with an orthopedic surgeon like Northwoods Family Orthopaedics SC