Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is the socket where a grouping of four muscles and tendons meet and connect to the upper arm (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula). A fluid-filled sac, known as the bursa, sits between the socket and the bone and helps provide the lubrication needed for the shoulder to rotate and extend.

Over time, the cartilage within the rotator cuff can become damaged due to small tears or traumas. The weakening of this cartilage can lead to pain and instability of the shoulder. In more severe cases, the cartilage may tear completely causing the bones of the shoulder to rub together. In other cases, Rotator Cuff Tears are brought on by the formation of bone spurs that rub against the joint and irritate the cartilage.

Athletes whose positions require repetitive throwing motions are susceptible to this injury as well as those whose jobs require repetitive motion of the shoulder.

Signs and symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear:

  • Pain when raising the arms
  • Pain in the shoulder
  • “Catching” or “popping” of the shoulder joint
  • Feeling of the joint “locking”
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Weakness in the affected arm


Rotator Cuff Surgery

A rotator cuff injury can cause pain, stiffness, and severe motion restriction, making it nearly impossible to live your life normally. However, the good news is that expert orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Michael Russonella, DO, at North Jersey Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute in Clifton, New Jersey, can help. Dr. Russonella performs rotator cuff surgery using state-of-the-art arthroscopic methods with small incisions. Book your rotator cuff surgery consultation online or by phone now.

Rotator Cuff Surgery Q & A

What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is the group of fused tendons and muscle tissue around your shoulder joint. Your rotator cuff helps keep your arm in the shoulder socket, and it plays an important role in arm movement.

Because the shoulder socket is a fairly shallow one, and because you use your arms so often, your rotator cuff is particularly prone to injury. Rotator cuff injury is one of the most common sports injuries today. It’s also a common injury in middle age and beyond, due to normal wear-and-tear.


What are the signs of a rotator cuff injury?

The signs of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Dull shoulder ache
  • Stiff shoulder
  • Shoulder joint popping when you move it
  • Shoulder joint locking up
  • Pain when you put any pressure on your shoulder
  • Difficulty in reaching above your head or backward

Take these symptoms seriously. Continuing to use your arm and shoulder normally can greatly aggravate your injury and possibly cause permanent damage.

How does rotator cuff surgery work?

Dr. Russonella performs the rotator cuff surgery. Dr. Russonella makes one to three very small incisions in the shoulder. He injects a sterile fluid that enhances his view of your shoulder and then inserts a miniature camera called an arthroscope into the main incision.

This arthroscope sends images directly to a nearby high-definition monitor, where Dr. Russonella can see your shoulder interior in detail. Dr. Russonella then inserts the additional surgical tools into the incisions to trim off damaged or loose ligament, bone, and other tissue that are causing problems.

Dr. Russonella then uses semi-permanent stitches or suture anchors to reattach your bone to your soft tissue or to repair soft tissue. Finally, Dr. Russonella closes your incisions using either small stitches or sterile strips.

What is recovery like after rotator cuff surgery?

Full recovery after rotator cuff surgery takes up to 4-6 months. Your physical therapy is an integral part of this process. By following recovery guidelines closely, you can gradually regain full function. The ultimate goal is for you to feel better than ever.

Use the online booking tool or call the office now to schedule your appointment.

Click below to return to full Condition and Treatment options:


Experts in Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

It’s All about How We Treat You

At North Jersey Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute Dr. Russonella is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care and comfort of athletes of all ages, including patients with non-related sports injuries.  To provide efficient and excellent care he focuses on personal interactions and individualized care for each and every patient. He is committed to improving the overall condition of the patient as well as their quality of life by offering various treatment options to minimize downtime and maximize recovery.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.