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The subscapularis muscle is one of the four rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. It is responsible for internal rotation of the arm and stabilizing the shoulder joint. When this muscle is torn or injured, it can cause significant pain and limit movement. Subscapularis repair is a surgical procedure that can help restore function and alleviate pain.
Causes of Subscapularis Tears
Subscapularis tears can occur due to several reasons, including overuse, trauma, or degeneration. Athletes who participate in sports that involve repetitive overhead motions, such as baseball or tennis, are at a higher risk of developing subscapularis tears. Additionally, older adults may experience tears due to degeneration of the muscle over time.
Symptoms of Subscapularis Tears
Symptoms of subscapularis tears include pain in the shoulder, weakness, and limited range of motion. Patients may also experience difficulty lifting objects or performing everyday tasks such as brushing their hair or reaching for objects.
To diagnose a subscapularis tear, a doctor will perform a physical exam and may order imaging tests such as an MRI or ultrasound. These tests can help determine the severity of the tear and guide treatment decisions.
Treatment options for subscapularis tears depend on the severity of the injury. In mild cases, rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended. However, in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the torn muscle.
Subscapularis Repair Surgery
Subscapularis repair surgery is typically performed arthroscopically, meaning that small incisions are made in the shoulder to allow for the insertion of a camera and surgical tools. The surgeon will then reattach the torn muscle to the bone using sutures or anchors. Recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the extent of the surgery.
After surgery, patients will need to wear a sling for a period of time to allow the muscle to heal. Physical therapy will also be necessary to help restore strength and range of motion. It is important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon to ensure proper healing.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, there are risks and complications associated with subscapularis repair. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and failure of the muscle to heal properly. However, the risks are generally low, and most patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms following surgery.
Subscapularis repair is a surgical procedure that can help restore function and alleviate pain in patients with subscapularis tears. While surgery is not always necessary, it may be recommended in more severe cases. By working closely with a physician and following all post-operative instructions, patients can expect to see significant improvement in their symptoms and return to their daily activities.