New Biomechanical Study Offers Insight into the Best Procedures for Repairing Massive Rotator Cuff Tears

February 24, 2012

Rotator cuff injuries and massive rotator cuff tears are common causes of shoulder pain. Researchers from the Steadman Philippon Research Institute recently compared the outcomes of three rotator cuff repair procedures used to correct rotator cuff injuries to determine which could provide the best outcomes for patients. This latest rotator cuff repair study was conducted in the biomechanical testing labs on the SPRI campus in Vail, Colorado.

Vail, CO. (PRWEB) February 24, 2012

The Steadman Philippon Research Institute (SPRI), a world leader in orthopedic and sports medicine research and education, has recently completed its study on the best procedures for repairing massive rotator cuff tears. The results were presented in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society. According to The Institute, a massive rotator cuff tear is defined as a tear greater than 5 cm in length or those that involve two or more rotator cuff tendons. The study concluded that double-row and augmented double-row surgical procedures yield stronger, longer lasting outcomes than traditional single row approaches.

A rotator cuff injuries and tears are common causes of shoulder pain and weakness. Treatment for rotator cuff tears are often reasons why individuals will see a shoulder surgeon. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 2 million people in the United States go to their primary care physician and specialty clinics because of a rotator cuff problem. Recent literature suggests that between 9% and 25% of these injuries were treated arthroscopically.

During the study, which was performed in the new biomechanical testing laboratory on the SPRI campus in Vail, Colorado, twenty specimens were placed into one of four groups. Each had been treated using one of the following three rotator cuff repair procedures: a single-row rotator cuff repair, a double-row repair, and an augmented double-row repair which uses collagen bio-implants (patch) to help provide the healing tissue a secure scaffold to grow into. The fourth group consisted of examining the intact, or non-injured, condition.

In order to conclude what the best procedures for repairing massive rotator cuff tears are, scientists tested each massive rotator cuff tear repair using state-of-the-art biomechanical science technology that applies motion and pressure on each specimen. This specific testing method was used to see which technique was strongest and had the greatest long-term success. Scientists developed a unique testing protocol that simulates a typical rehabilitation regimen following massive rotator cuff tears.    

According to Coen Wijdicks, Ph.D., Director of the Biomechanics Research Department for SPRI, “The study sheds light on several theories surrounding the best procedures for repairing massive rotator cuff tears. Because the biomechanical tests were performed in real-time, we were able to visibly see how well each surgical technique performed during our testing procedure. What we found is that for massive rotator cuff tears where the double-row and the augmented double-row techniques were used, repairs endured significantly more cycles to failure and had higher maximum load ranges than the single row repairs and were actually as strong as healthy intact rotator cuffs.”

Prior to the study, there were also concerns among orthopedic specialists that augmentation of the repair with a collagen patch would negatively influence the overall repair quality. However it was determined that augmentation with a collagen patch did not have any adverse biomechanical effects on the strength of the repair.

“The study offers hope for patients who suffer from massive rotator cuff injuries and will allow orthopedic surgeons better insight and more precise surgical techniques to treat these injuries. This new information from our research efforts, will ultimately translate to better outcomes for the patient“, says Peter Millett, M.D., M.Sc,, Director of Shoulder Surgery at The Steadman Clinic and a pioneer in the development of double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair surgery and rotator cuff augmentation with collagen patches. Dr. Millett also served as the primary investigator for this exciting new study for rotator cuff repair procedures.

More information about this study can be found at http://www.sprivail.org.

About The Steadman Philippon Research Institute:

The Steadman Philippon Research Institute (SPRI) is dedicated to keeping people of all ages physically active through orthopaedic research and education in arthritis, healing, rehabilitation, and injury prevention. Founded in 1988 by orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman as the Steadman Sports Medicine Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization has influenced the practice of orthopedics throughout the world. Based in Vail, Colorado, it has become one of the most published organizations in sports medicine research and education.


For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebRotatorCuffRepair/MassiveRotatorCuffTear/prweb9216279.htm

Source: prweb

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