Rotator Cuff Repair Specialist

Tim Kavanaugh, M.D.

Orthopedic Surgeon & Joint Replacement Specialist located in Mesa, AZ & Phoenix, AZ

Your rotator cuff plays an essential role in your arm strength and movement. When this tissue becomes damaged, lifting and moving your arm can be painful. At his practice in Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Tim Kavanaugh, MD, and his team offer rotator cuff repair surgery for individuals experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain or limited mobility. Call Tim Kavanaugh, MD, or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.

Rotator Cuff Repair Q&A

What is rotator cuff repair?

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that support your shoulder, a ball-and-socket joint that allows for free movement of your arm. By preventing your joint from moving out of place, your rotator cuff stabilizes your shoulder. Damage to your rotator cuff not only leads to chronic pain but can also cause instability.

Who needs rotator cuff repair?

Rotator cuff repair surgery may be the best solution if you continue to experience pain and minimal range of motion in your shoulder after trying conservative treatments, such as anti-inflammatory injections and physical therapy. Many conditions and injuries can damage your rotator cuff, including:

Strain or tear

Repetitive motions, such as swinging or lifting, can add stress to your rotator cuff. Tennis, golf, basketball, and construction work are all risk factors of rotator sprains and tears. An injury to the tissue can occur suddenly or gradually, leading to inflammation and pain.

Severe injury

A complete tear of your rotator cuff can occur during a car accident or severe injury that stretches the tissue too forcefully.


The bursa are fluid-filled sacs that prevent friction between your bones and tissue. When the bursa endures too much irritation, they can become inflamed and cause pain.

What happens during rotator cuff repair surgery?

Depending on the extent of your injury, Dr. Kavanaugh and the team may administer general anesthesia or a regional anesthetic before surgery. Next, they clean and sterilize the treatment area before making a keyhole-sized incision.

As an arthroscopic procedure, rotator cuff repair is a minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Kavanaugh inserts an arthroscope — a long, thin tube with an attached camera — into the small incision to view your rotator cuff.

Repairing your rotator cuff typically involves removing damaged portions of muscle and tendon and replacing them with tissue grafts. Dr. Kavanaugh also removes any bone spurs that may be causing you pain.

After surgery, you must wear a sling regularly. It’s important to avoid overuse or lifting heavy objects for at least 4-6 weeks after surgery. Within 2-3 months, you can begin a physical therapy and rehabilitation plan to fully restore function to your shoulder.

To learn more about rotator cuff repair surgery, call Tim Kavanaugh, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.