Reconstructive Surgery Expert Forum
Scar adhesions after rotator cuff repair
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Questions in the Reconstructive Surgery Forum are being answered by Dr. Archibald Sanford Miller III, MD,FACS, the Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.

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Scar adhesions after rotator cuff repair

I had surgery at the end of July to repair a hole worn through the rotator cuff tendon and muscle above it. The repair was successful, but I noticed as soon as the stitches came out that three of my 4 incisions were indented as if stitched too deeply (I am a very small woman with very little body fat -- he could have stitched too deeply on me), and the largest incision at the top of the deltoid muscle seems to be attached to some of the muscle tissue, causing a deep indention on the end of the scar and a raised lump of what I believe is muscle tissue under it. This raised lump flattens out when I flex the muscle to use it, but when I do this, the skin folds in half as it is drug with the muscle down lower on the arm. I have had 3-4 months of ultrasound and scar massage therapy by the physical therapists to try to break up the adhesions, and they are improved, but they still pull whenever I raise the arm. The pulling of the skin keeps the two scars that are the worst constantly sore. My surgeon will see me again in a few weeks and he frankly doesn't seem to have any ideas of how to help me, for he has not seen this happen before. Do you think it would be a good idea to ask him to refer me to a plastic surgeon, or will this kind of discomfort go away in time? The scar(s) that are not adhered to tissues below them are completely pain-free at this time.
560109_tn?1220279867
See a plastic surgeon. Although painful, this sounds like a scar contracture and should be easily treated.
                arch s miller ms md facs
2 Comments
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402100_tn?1201546486
Thank you. Since my surgeon has not seen this in other patients, he is really sort of following my suggestions on how to treat it.  I am still doing scar massage to try to loosen it as much as possible, but I needed to hear if this was something that should go to a plastic surgeon for a fix. Your expertise is valuable -- we online visitors appreciate the time you spend on this Forum.
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