In the video, Dr. Bennett describes how the Rotation Medical Graft might benefit you if you have a partial tear of the rotator cuff. Call our Sugar Land office at 281-633-8600 or our Houston office at 713-234-3152 for more information.
– Hi there. My name is Dr. J. Michael Bennett. I’m an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine with the Fondren Orthopedic Group. Today we’re going to talk about a new technique, a new technology that’s out there regarding rotator cuff repairs.
Typically, the standard for rotator cuff repairs has always been an anchor repair, meaning that when you have a rotator cuff tendon tear, we put an anchor in the bone. We have stitches that come through the tendon and reattach that tendon down to bone to allow it to heal. That works great for full thickness rotator cuff tears, and it’s also worked great for partial tears, where you’ve had to actually remove the degenerative tendon and create a full thickness tear to repair it.
Recently, there’d been a new technology that has been introduced in regards to treatment for partial rotator cuff tears. If you have a patient who has a high grade partial tear, instead of having to fix it with anchors, and the stitch, we have the option now of laying a graft on top of that partial tear, and basically creating a healing environment for that rotator cuff tendon. That allows the tendon to heal from the inside out.
The graft that we use is a xenograft, meaning it’s actually from an animal. It’s been sterilized, but the graft itself acts as a load-sharing augment.
So what that means is that if you have a patient who has a partial tear of the rotator cuff, instead of having go in there releasing this tear and putting an anchor in, we’re introducing a graft that lays on top of that tendon almost like a bandaid that lays right on top of the tendon and you fixate it with just an anchor down here, and some absorbable little staples in there.
Now what that does, is that it covers the defect and it allows that rotator cuff tendon almost like a rest. It allows it to heal. The problem with these partial tears is that there’s continuous motion across the shoulder, these partial tears never get to heal.
But we’ve found, in regards to some of the early studies that we’ve seen with this graft, is that you’ll start to see some bridging of this tendon back down to the bone, as the tendon basically heals itself. And then the graft on top, is incorporated by your cells.
So all your cells basically go into this graft and incorporate it, and then over time, that graft becomes a part of that tendon. So you’ve created a thicker tendon that it is healed, and now it’s part of your rotator cuff, and you no longer have that partial tear.
Now the interesting thing about this treatment option is that it’s cutting rotator cuff post-operative healing in half. Typically when we do a rotator cuff repair with anchors, usually you’re looking at about a six-month recovery before you get back to any kind of heavy lifting, back of the gym, doing your regular activities without restrictions.
Now that all depends on the quality of the tendon, and how many anchors and things like that, so I’m speaking generally. Now regarding this augment here, usually the full return to activities without restrictions is about three months. So we’re cutting our recovery time in about half.
So this is a very good option for patients who have a partial tear, who want a quicker recovery, and who still want to proceed with a minimally invasive option. It’s called the Rotation Medical Graft, and we are currently using this in our office as well in patients who are candidates for this type of procedure.
Don’t ignore your shoulder pain. Call for an appointment at our Sugar Land office at 281-633-8600 or our Houston office near the Galleria at 713-234-3152. Dr. Bennett is a Shoulder Specialist and a Fellowship-Trained Sports Medicine Specialist with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine.