Shoulder Surgery

Rotator Cuff Surgery in Seattle, WA

Dr. Samuel Koo can perform two different types of rotator cuff repair procedures: open surgery and minimally invasive repair. Typically Dr. Koo is able to repair most rotator cuff tears with a minimally invasive arthroscopic repair. Minimally invasive rotator cuff repair by Dr. Koo involves making smaller incisions and using special tools to repair the damage, while an open procedure involves a much larger incision. Minimally invasive surgery can sometimes have a shorter recovery period than open surgery, but a minimally invasive approach isn’t appropriate for every patient. Surgical treatment of rotator cuff tears are designed to repair the torn tendon back to the humeral head (ball of the shoulder joint). Most rotator cuff tears, small to massive in size, can and should be fixed arthroscopically (minimally invasive technique).

Request an Appointment

Surgical Treatment for Rotator Cuffs

Certain people benefit from surgical intervention by Dr. Samuel Koo, including:

  • People who failed nonsurgical treatment
  • People who are extremely active
  • People with large to massive rotator cuff tears
  • Manual laborers or athletes whose maximum strength and function is needed for
    overhead work or sports

The type of surgery performed by Dr. Koo depends on numerous factors. However, all rotator cuff repairs can be done arthroscopically. In all cases, it involves taking the torn tendon and repositioning it back to it’s bone bed. Most repairs are done on an outpatient basis at the office in Kirland.

Why Have Rotator Cuff Surgery?

  • You can continue activities you enjoy.
  • Surgery is the only route to improve strength.
  • Only surgery can promote healing of the tendon to bone.
  • Avoid tear getting larger over time.
  • Avoid fatty infiltration of the muscle over time (irreversible change).

How is Rotator Cuff Surgery Done?

The type of surgery performed depends on numerous factors. However, all rotator cuff repairs can be done arthroscopically. In all cases, it involves taking the torn tendon and repositioning it back to it’s bone bed. Most repairs are done on an outpatient basis.

This technique uses multiple small incisions (portals small enough to fit instruments the size of a pencil) by Dr. Koo to place tools into the shoulder. A variety of methods exist to suture the tendon back to the bone. The most common way is to use suture anchors (biodegradable anchors buried in bone with sutures extending from them) but other methods also exist. All of these techniques have the same goal; getting the tendon to heal to the bone.

What Should I Expect After Surgery?

Most arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs can be performed by Dr. Koo near his Kirkland office on an outpatient basis. You will be placed in a sling for 4-6 weeks and participate in physical therapy sessions.

You can read more about rotator cuff surgery recovery

Non-Surgical Treatment for Rotator Cuffs

In many cases, nonoperative treatment can provide pain relief and improve the daily function of the shoulder. Rotator cuff tears are not life or limb threatening. You have a choice in deciding the treatment. Some of the commonly prescribed treatments include; rest, ice, avoidance of aggravating activity, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy.

Learn more about your Rotator Cuff:

To schedule an appointment for rotator cuff surgery in the Seattle, WA area, contact Dr. Samuel Koo at (425) 823-4000.

COVID-19 Update

4/21/20 Update: Effective immediately, Dr. Koo is seeing patients through telehealth visits and in-person visits at our clinic. Call today to schedule your appointment!

Dr. Samuel Koo is closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updated from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

To better serve you, Dr. Koo is now proud to offer virtual visits. With telehealth, you can meet with Dr. Koo from the comfort and safety of your own home. Please call our office today to learn more about this service or to schedule an appointment.

As of last Friday the governor of Washington state issued a declaration that all non-urgent or emergent surgical cases be postponed until the week of May 18th. For more information, please reach out to our office at (425) 823-4000.

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control