Our 22-year old son tore his rotator cuff in a skiing accident. He didn't have surgery right away and now he has a frozen shoulder. The surgeon is advising just doing surgery to manipulate the shoulder. Then he can have the rotator cuff repair later. Wouldn't it make more sense to just do it all at once?
There's some debate among orthopedic surgeons on this point. Having both procedures at the same time saves money and the inconvenience of two operations. But in some young adults, manipulation may be all that's needed.
With a good rehab program, they can regain motion and strength without a major rotator cuff repair. This is more likely to occur when the tear is mild (as opposed to a massive tear).
On the other hand, some studies have shown that both procedures can be done during the same operation with equally good results. Recovery is a little slower for patients with adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). But pain relief is immediate and equal to patients with a rotator cuff tear without stiffness.
Nam Su Cho, MD, and Yong Girl Rhee, MD. Functional Outcome of Arthroscopic Repair with Concomitant Manipulation in Rotator Cuff Tears with Stiff Shoulder. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. July 2008. Vol. 36. No. 7. Pp. 1323-1329.
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