Rotator cuff tears are a common occurrence in adults over age 40. It is estimated that somewhere between 25% to 50% of the all adults have a partial rotator cuff tear. Most of these are not symptomatic.
Rotator Cuff Tear Symptoms
If you have pain which is worse at night, and it is difficult to lay on the affected side, you may have a rotator cuff tear. Patients will also have weakness in raising their arm laterally or what is called abduction. Tears can cause weakness with overhead activity. Tears can be classified as partial or full thickness or also called complete. For full thickness tears surgery is fairly straight forward, and we repair the tear using sutures and anchors into the bone.
Partial Rotator Cuff Tear
Partial thickness tears are more common and have been a problem for orthopedic surgeons on deciding proper treatment. Most tears less than 50% of the width as seen via MRI are treated with physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and sometimes a cortisone injection. Tears more then 50% can be treated conservatively, but if surgery is done, the tear is usually compared to a full thickness tear and repaired.
Rotator Cuff Repair: New Technique
Rotation Medical has a new technology which uses a biologic implant the size of a postage stamp for treating partial thickness rotator cuff tears. It is bioinductive which causes the partial tear to induce new tendon growth. The implant is inserted arthroscopically and attached to the partial tear with bioabsorbable tacks. Results have shown new tendon growth occurring within six weeks and fully healed tendon within four to five months.
Advantage of Rotation Medical Implant
Patients who have undergone this technique report little to no pain after two weeks. The rehabilitation is much quicker and recovery is shorter. Since the tendon is healing there is little chance of a re-tear or a secondary tear from developing.