This is surgery to repair a damaged or torn tendon.
Repair of Tendons in the Left Shoulder
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A tendon attaches muscle to bone. If a tendon tears, the muscle will no longer be able to work properly. This will cause weakness or loss of function. Reattaching the tendon can fix the weakness and improve function.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems like: BleedingInfectionFormation of scar tissue that interferes with normal tendon movementPartial loss of function or stiffness in the involved joint
If your age is 60 years or older, it may increase risk of complications. Other factors include: SmokingObesityDiabetesPoor overall healthUse of certain medications
Your doctor will perform a physical exam. You may also need some tests. These may include: Blood testUrine testUltrasoundMRI scan
Leading up to the procedure:
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may need to stop taking some medications 1 week prior to your procedure.
Arrange for a ride home from the care center.The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Depending on where the tendon is located, you may be given: General anesthesia—you will be asleep during the procedure
Regional anesthesia—to numb the specific region of the bodyLocal anesthesia—to numb the surgical site
A cut will be made in the skin over the injured tendon. The torn ends of the tendon will be sewn together or reattached to the bone. If you have a severe injury, a tendon graft may be needed. In this case, a piece of healthy tendon will be taken from another part of the body. This healthy tendon will be used to reconnect the broken tendon. The area will be examined for injuries to nerves and blood vessels. Lastly, the incision will be closed with stitches.
You may be put in a splint or cast. This is to keep the injured area in position for proper healing. The splint or cast will usually stay on for a period of weeks.
This depends on where the tendon is located and the severity of the injury.
Anesthesia will keep you pain-free and comfortable during the procedure. To reduce pain after the procedure, your doctor may recommend pain medication.
After the procedure, you will be in a recovery room. The staff will monitor your progress. You may also get pain medication.
You will start physical therapy soon after surgery.
When you return home, take these steps: Your doctor or physical therapist will recommend exercises or rehabilitation program.
Be sure to follow your doctor's
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as: Signs of infection, including fever and chillsRedness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision sitePain that you cannot control with the medications you have been givenYour cast or splint becomes wet, dirty, or brokenSkin below the cast becomes cold, discolored, numb, or tinglyNew or worsening symptoms
In case of an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Achilles tendon rupture. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at:
Accessed February 12, 2016.
Rupture of the biceps tendon. American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00031. Updated May 2009. Accessed February 12, 2016.
Last reviewed February 2016 by Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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