Rotator Cuff Repair Treatment Abroad
Rotator cuff repair is considered a type of orthopedic surgery. The rotator cuff is a combination of muscles and tendons that are found at the top of the shoulder, which form the covering around the top of the humerus, or upper arm bone. The muscles and tendons found in this location help to hold the upper arm securely in the shoulder joint and enable the arm to perform 360° range of motion movements.
Those engaging in sports or those involved in a blunt force trauma type accident often injure the rotator cuff, one of the most common injuries to this area, which causes intense pain and limits range of motion and mobility.
Who Benefits from Rotator Cuff Repair Procedures?
Anyone who has had an injury in the upper arm or shoulder joint understands the pain and limitations that such an injury causes. Rotator cuff tears require repair procedures to prevent complications or permanent disability and range of motion. Such injuries often occur in individuals who are over 40, as well as young adults who have been involved in accidents and contact sports. Rotator cuff injuries are the most common among baseball pitchers because of the repetitive force and actions involved in the pitching process. It is also commonly found in those who engage in repetitive movements that require overhead lifting or motions.
Rotator Cuff Repair Procedures
Arthroscopic repairs utilize a small thin instrument is called a fiber-optic scope. This scope is inserted into a small surgical opening made in the shoulder or upper arm area. Connected to a monitor, the surgeon performing the repair can do so by controlling his or her movements through the utilization of the monitor with the least amount of movement of the scope as possible. This process is beneficial because it avoids excessive damage or injury to surrounding tissues and muscles, and allows for a faster healing process.
Open surgical repair procedures utilize the traditional surgical incision for cases in which the rotator cuff has received extensive or complex damage or requires reconstruction. This type of surgery creates a larger incision as well as longer healing times.
Mini open repairs utilize the development of new and state-of-the-art equipment and instruments to repair rotator cuff injuries through a very small incision that rarely exceeds 6 cm in length. This type is growing more popular, as it provides the benefits of open surgical repairs without the damage to surrounding tissues and muscles as a result.
In most cases, rotator cuff tears and injuries are diagnosed through a combination of x-rays, physical examinations, and MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging). Range of motion will also be severely hampered by tears or injuries to the rotator cuff. In some cases, pinched nerves, or such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis may also cause pain in this area. Your doctor will more than likely refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to determine the type and severity of your injury.
The type of surgical procedure will be determined by the location of the injury, as well as its size. In many cases, partial tears merely require "debridement" or a smoothing or trimming of the torn muscles or tendons. In most cases, surgical repairs to the rotator cuff may be performed on an outpatient basis or within an operating room environment.
Cost of Rotator Cuff Procedures
Any type of shoulder injury is expensive to treat in the United States, and that goes for rotator cuff repair surgery and procedures as well. Depending on the severity, location, and procedure performed, rotator cuff repairs may cost up to $40,000 in the United States. Medical Travelers to Mexico may enjoy a 75% decrease in cost for the same procedures. In India, rotator cuff repair surgical procedures cost roughly around $3,700, while the same procedure in Thailand may cost around $4,600.
Choosing an Orthopedic Surgeon
An orthopedic surgeon should treat rotator cuff injuries and repairs. It is highly recommended that individuals seeking care for such injuries ensure that their orthopedic surgeon of choice belongs to either the American or an International Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, or to orthopedic associations or organizations in their country of origin, and has verifiable experience and expertise in rotator cuff repair treatments or surgical procedures.
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