Rotator Cuff Repair

Shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff tendon

Shoulder surgeon Perth | Orthopaedic surgeon Dr David Colvin - shoulder and knee surgery

Rotator Cuff surgery

Rotator cuff surgeon perth

What is a rotator cuff injury?

A rotator cuff tear is a very common injury causing shoulder pain and disturbed sleep.

When the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder tear, they pull away from their attachment to the bone. Once the tendon is detached from the bone, it starts retracting due to the pull of the rotator cuff muscles. In this situation, a gap develops, and the tear cannot heal of its own accord as the tendons cannot bridge a gap.

Dr. David Colvin, orthopaedic surgeon in Perth. David's specialty is knee and shoulder surgery and sports injuries.

About Dr Colvin

What are the surgery options for a rotator cuff tear?

Surgery is the only way to repair a full thickness rotator cuff tear.

There are two common types of surgery for Rotator Cuff Repair.

The first is an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
The second is called a mini open repair.

The choice of surgery will be influenced by several factors including the size and location of the tear, the quality of the tendon tissue, and whether it is a recent or old tear.

Arthroscopic and mini open repair for rotator cuff injuries

Arthroscopic repair involves using an arthroscope and specialised instruments inside the shoulder to perform a tendon repair through keyhole cuts.

The mini open repair starts with arthroscopic surgery to remove any bone spurs and clean up shoulder bursitis. Then a small incision is made on the shoulder splitting the deltoid muscle to allow access to the rotator cuff tendons for repair.

With both methods, the tendon is reattached to bone by using small metal or plastic screws in the bone. These screws have sutures attached which are tied to the tendon, and this allows the tendon to be pulled back into place. The stitches hold the tendon in place until it grows back onto the bone.


CO.RE Rotator Cuff

rotator cuff repair | Perth Orthopaedic Surgeon

In the field of shoulder and knee reconstruction, successful outcomes from an operation are 50% surgery and 50% rehabilitation.

You could say the surgery is the easy bit, the rehabilitation is all hard slog. Dr Colvin’s CO.RE exercise programs are just that, a core plan for your successful recovery.

Choose your program

Rehabilitation and Rotator Cuff Repair

When it comes to Rotator Cuff Repair, surgery is only half the battle. The success of shoulder surgery depends on getting the rehabilitation right.

The hospital physiotherapist will instruct you on exercises the first day after your surgery.

Intensive physiotherapy starts six weeks after surgery when you come out of the sling.

By three months most people have reasonable day to day function of their shoulder.

Strength and movement will continue to improve for twelve months.

How do I know a Rotator Cuff Repair is best for me?

Rotator cuff repair is generally a very successful operation for restoring strength and movement in the shoulder and relieving pain.

When you book an appointment with Perth orthopaedic surgeon Dr Colvin, he will tell you more about the surgical treatment options for rotator cuff repair and the rehabilitation involved.

Video: Rotator Cuff Repair explained by Dr David Colvin, Orthopaedic Surgeon in Perth

Rotator Cuff Tear

Shoulder pain is a common complaint in our community. For younger people, shoulder pain is usually the result of an accident or injury. In older patients, it can be a natural wear and tear process.

A rotator cuff injury is a common cause of shoulder pain, and is due to a strain or tear in the muscles or tendons of your shoulder.

rotator cuff injury

Rotator Cuff Injury Handout

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body. It is complex because it allows a range of motion greater than any other joint.

The shoulder is made up of the shoulder socket and the humerus which is the upper bone of the arm. The collarbone or clavicle also contributes to the shoulder joint.

Download rotator cuff handout

About Shoulder Surgeon Dr Colvin

Perth shoulder surgeon Dr David Colvin has a special interest in rotator cuff repair surgery. He undertook Post Fellowship training both in Australia and in North America.

More about David Colvin

Rotator Cuff Treatment FAQ

Rotator cuff tears are a very common source of shoulder pain. When you need surgery for a rotator cuff injury, you may have a lot of questions.

That's why I have created a page listing the most common frequently asked questions about rotator cuff treatment.

Go to Faq's

Rotator Cuff Terminology

Difficulty understanding certain terminology? Here's a list that explains all rotator cuff related terminology.

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(08) 9489 8788

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Suite 213/25 McCourt St,
Subiaco WA 6008


Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5.00pm AWST

Consulting Rooms

Dr David Colvin consults at:
Western Orthopaedic Clinic

  • These rooms are part of St John of God Subiaco Hospital.
  • Parking is available on site.


Dr David Colvin operates at:
St John of God Subiaco Hospital
12 Salvado Rd,
Subiaco WA 6008