You’ll be taken to the operating theatre and made comfortable.

Your anaesthetist will insert a cannula into a vein to administer anaesthetic, fluid and other drugs. You may also have a urinary catheter inserted. Depending on the type of surgery, you’ll most likely be lying on your side or supported in a seated ‘deck chair’ position.

For an arthroscopic procedure, after the anaesthesia has taken effect, your surgeon makes small incisions in the front and back of your shoulder to insert the arthroscopes. After identifying any damage, your surgeon inserts thin surgical instruments to repair and/or remove any damaged tissue.

A mini-open procedure starts off the same as an arthroscopic procedure, but after identifying the location of the problem, your surgeon then makes a larger incision to access the area directly.

For an open procedure, the surgeon makes a longer incision to access the shoulder area. Your surgeon needs to detach your shoulder muscle to reach the torn tendon. After the rotator cuff is repaired, the muscle is then re-attached.

Once the surgery is finished, your anaesthetist will wake you up. Your shoulder will be covered with a bandage, and your arm will be supported in a sling.

This surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on how complex it is.

After your procedure

Your hospital stay.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.