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Debridement for Rotator Cuff Disorders

Topic Overview

Debridement involves removing loose fragments of tendon, thickened bursa, and other debris from around the shoulder joint. By clearing damaged tissue from the region of the shoulder joint, it helps the doctor to see the extent of the injury and determine whether you need more surgery.

Debridement may be done in arthroscopic surgery (through two or three tiny incisions) or in open surgery (usually one larger incision). It is usually the first step in rotator cuff surgery. Sometimes debridement is done with arthroscopic surgery before an open surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear.

Debridement may also be done without rotator cuff repair to help relieve pain and other symptoms that have not improved with other treatment. This may be an option for people who don't want to have open surgery.

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Credits

Current as of: June 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma