MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- A torn rotator cuff can be a painful, debilitating injury. Normally the result of wear and tear and recurring stress, a torn rotator cuff can turn a simple task such as putting on a shirt or reaching for a top shelf into a challenge. However, minimally invasive surgical techniques available at Northern Westchester Hospital give worn joints in the shoulder new life.
"The rotator cuff tendons are a group of four tendons that connect the muscle to the bone. What I see commonly is inflammation and tears of these tendons," said Dr. Evan Karas, co-chief of orthopedic surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Rotator cuff tears typically occur in athletes and those who do repetitive overhead work, such as painters and carpenters. However, as people age, inadequate blood supply and bone spurs increase the likelihood of a strain or tear. Once diagnosed, the first step is often physical therapy and non-surgical treatments. While this can be effective in less severe cases, serious shoulder injuries may require surgery.
"With arthroscopic surgery, we're able to operate in a much more minimally invasive fashion, using small incisions to limit trauma to surrounding tissue,” explained Karas. "Not having to dissect through the deltoid muscle allows for less pain and an easier recovery." Because of these advancements in minimally invasive shoulder surgery, less scarring is seen after surgery and rotator cuffs may heal virtually invisibly.
"The reason I chose to practice at Northern Westchester Hospital was because of the commitment the hospital makes to provide their medical staff with the latest technology available," said Karas. Being on the forefront of shoulder surgery has helped Karas and other surgeons operate in a patient-centric manner, providing care that's second to none.
Watch the video above to see Dr. Evan Karas discuss how the rotator cuff works and how minimally invasive surgeries can alleviate chronic pain.
Visit Northern Westchester Hospital Orthopedic and Spine Institute to view an animated video on shoulder surgery.