Skip to main content

Rotator Cuff Surgery
Oakland and Bay Area


What we call the “rotator cuff” is actually an area of tendons and muscles linking the shoulder blades to the upper arm bone and humerus. It ensures that your upper arm bone remains in the shoulder socket. Each of the four muscles making up the rotator cuff is linked with a tendon to the arm bone. If one of these tendons tears, you may need rotator cuff surgery in Oakland and Bay Area.

Rotator Cuff Injury or Tear Symptoms

  • Weakness when attempting to lift or rotate your arm
  • Pain when you lift and lower your arm using specific movements
  • Pain when resting at night, particularly when resting on the injured shoulder
  • Sensation of crackling when you move your shoulder into certain positions

Treatment Options

Surgery is not always the best choice for shoulder injuries. If you experience a rotator cuff injury, your doctor may advise you to rest and use ice packs and specific exercises at first. However, if you have a torn tendon, exercise and rest can reduce your pain, but will not repair the tear. In this case, surgery may be recommended.

Your doctor may advise you to consult Dr. Strudwick if you:

  • Are an athlete
  • Need your arms and shoulders for work
  • Have shoulder weakness interfering with routine tasks
  • Have shoulder pain lasting over six months, even following physical therapy

Rotator cuff surgery is best suited for recent injuries instead of injuries due to chronic conditions. If your rotator cuff was recently injured, see your doctor as soon as possible.

man before rotator cuff surgery in Oakland and Bay Area

Your Procedure

You’ll be given either general or regional anesthesia for your rotator cuff surgery in Oakland and Bay Area. If it’s general anesthesia, you will sleep throughout the procedure. In the case of regional anesthesia, you will be groggy but awake. If you are given regional anesthesia, you won’t feel anything during your surgery, and the numbness can linger as long as 16 hours.

Rotator cuff surgery is normally performed using either an arthroscope or an incision. If an arthroscope is used, your surgeon will insert a small camera into one hole and create up to three additional small incisions to allow for the insertion of other instruments. These instruments are used for the reattachment of your tendon to the bone.

When your tendon is in the correct location, Dr. Strudwick will use sutures to attach it.

If you have a large rotator cuff tear, a conventional surgical approach may be necessary to repair it. This involves forming a larger, open incision rather than arthroscopy.

After your incisions have been stitched up, your surgical team will put a clean dressing into place. If you underwent an arthroscopy, Dr. Strudwick may display pictures of the shoulder repairs that he performed.

Rotator Cuff Surgery Recovery

After your surgery is complete, you may be instructed to keep your arm in a sling for up to six weeks. A shoulder immobilizer may also be required. There are several styles of shoulder immobilizers, but all of them are basically a short sleeve connected to a strap placed around your chest to keep your shoulder from moving around.

You may be prescribed pain medications to take during your rotator cuff surgery in Oakland and Bay Area recovery. As you begin healing, you may also start physical therapy to help you regain muscle strength and range of motion.

Recovering from rotator cuff surgery can take anywhere from three to six months, depending upon the extent of your shoulder injury.

Get back in
the game

Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 510-922-1614.