Shoulder Rotator Cuff Repair

diagram showing the shoulder with inflamed/torn tendons
photograph showing a male tennis player holding his shoulder in pain.
The rotator cuff is composed of four tendons that connect to muscles of the shoulder blade (scapula) to the upper arm bone (humerus). Each of the muscles work together to enhance the movement and stability of the shoulder.

Muscle imbalance causes the tendon to hit up against the acromion which may cause pain, swelling and scarring of the tendons. Over the course of time these tendons can damage to a point where they tear causing pain and weakness.

One of the most common injuries that can occur to the shoulder is a torn rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tears can occur in younger people following sudden movement or trauma, they can also occur as a result of age, an underlying condition and day to day wear and tear.

Depending on positioning, a complex tear can lead to a complete rupture of the tendon where the tendon completely tears off the bone. Repair of the tendon may be an option to restore movement and relieve pain and discomfort in most patients.
Watch the Video: Rotator Cuff Tear.

The surgery

Rotator cuff repair is a procedure used to assess and stabilise the ligaments and tendons of your shoulder. Rotator cuff repair procedures are performed under a general anaesthetic at either Hollywood Hospital or Glengarry Hospital. Admission will be mid-morning with scheduled surgery later that same afternoon.

Your anaesthetist will visit you on the day of procedure following admission. There is not normally a need to consult with the Anaesthetist prior to the operating day, we do suggest you make contact if you have had any of the following:
  • Head or Heart Surgery
  • Lapband Insitu
  • Blood Thinning Medication
  • Relevant Medical History.

During surgery an arthroscope will be inserted into the shoulder to confirm the location and degree of tearing of the shoulder tendon. Via arthroscopic portals, surgical instruments will be introduced to perform the rotator cuff repair. Surgical anchors and staples are used to repair the tendon and stabilise the shoulder back to normal function.

After surgery

photograph of an arm in a sling.
After your surgery, you will be taken to recovery where you will wake with a large bandage on your shoulder and your arm will have been placed in a sling.

You will be given an information sheet with notification of the operative findings along with guidelines about post-operative care and rehabilitation.

Patients remain in hospital for one to two nights following surgery.
See additional post-operative instructions here.

At home


Please phone Mr Kozak’s rooms on 9381 3084 to schedule a post-operative appointment for 10 days after your surgery.

Following surgery, a sling will need to be worn for six weeks to immobilise the arm and allow the repaired tendon to reattach to the bone.

Returning to the workforce may be a gradual process depending on your work environment. It may take several months, possibly up to a year to regain full strength and comfort in the shoulder joint.

Surgical Appointments

Hollywood Hospital
Monash Avenue
NEDLANDS
WA 6008

Glengarry Hospital
53 Arnisdale Road
DUNCRAIG
WA 6023

Practice Details

Please Call (08) 9381 3084 for an appointment.
Fax: (08) 9381 3054
or email us

Level 2, 280 Rokeby Road
SUBIACO
WA 6008

Sports Medicine Centre
1/64 Arnisdale Road
DUNCRAIG
WA 6023

Opening Hours
Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Subiaco rooms

Duncraig rooms

  • Closeup of grandparents and grandchildren walking
  • Woman on the beach
  • yoga group exercising
  • A young woman playing tennis
  • A happy couple running outdoors
  • Male swimmer underwater in pool
Professional Affiliations: