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Rotator Cuff Surgery New York City


Rotator cuff injuries are a result of tendon damage in the shoulder. There are a number of different ways in which these types of injuries can occur, including normal wear and tear as well as overuse due to athletics or accidental overextension. In general, healthy tendons are damaged by an immense amount of force like one would experience in athletics or as a result of a significant accident like a fall.

For older adults or individuals with weakened tendons, relatively innocuous events may cause rotator cuff injuries. These types of events could include something as simple like lifting an object or through a routine movement. However, the majority of rotator cuff injuries occur as a consequence of significant force or from overuse.

Other types of tendon injuries can occur as a result of a lack of blood supply to the rotator cuff tendons. Blood supply is essential for repairing routine wear-and-tear and other types of mild damage. Bone spurs can also be an issue that may contribute to a rotator cuff injury.

Risk factors for rotator cuff injuries include having an age greater than 40, traumatic injury, or engaging in repetitive activities on a consistent basis. These activities can include athletics or fields of employment like painting and carpentry.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Conditions

There are a number of different symptoms that may be indicative of a rotator cuff tear or other injury. Here are a few of the most common ones we hear about at our office:

  • Pain during the night when lying in bed – especially if the patient sleeps on the injured shoulder.
  • Pain when moving the arm through specific angles or from lifting and lowering.
  • A sense of weakness or strange sensations when lifting the arms or rotating them.
  • A “crackling sensation” known as crepitus that may occur when positioning the shoulder in certain ways.


Surgical Options

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

  • Nonsurgical: Some nonsurgical treatments may be something patients want to start with if the tear is not severe. These treatments include rest, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, a steroid injection, or a combination of the above.
  • Surgical: If pain persists after six to twelve months, an all-arthroscopic repair may be necessary. In arthroscopy, the surgeon uses a small camera to identify the injury and perform the repair via miniature instruments. For a larger tear, the rotator cuff tendon is re-attached to the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) with sutures. For a minor tear, it is possible that only a trimming or smoothing procedure, called a debridement, is necessary.
    • These surgeries are outpatient procedures that are minimally invasive.

Physical Therapy Protocols


Rotator Cuff Surgery (Extended Version)
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Rotator Cuff Surgery
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Anatomy of the Shoulder as it relates to Surgery
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Sean H., Subscapularis Rotator Cuff Repair
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