Dermal Matrix Allograft

///Dermal Matrix Allograft

An Overview on Dermal Matrix Allograft as a
Rotator Cuff Surgery

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of shoulder pain in active and older individuals. When a rotator cuff tendon becomes torn, it is no longer fully attached to the humerus (upper arm bone) head, leading to shoulder pain and decreased joint function. Patients in the Van Nuys, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California area suffering from a large and complex rotator cuff tear, typically over 3 cm long, now have an alternative to traditional rotator cuff surgery. Dr. Mark Getelman, rotator cuff surgeon, specializes in utilizing a dermal matrix allograft for rotator cuff augmentation of large tears.

What is a Large Rotator Cuff Tear?

A large rotator cuff tear is typically characterized by a tear that is more than three centimeters long. A massive tear is defined as a tear greater than four to five centimeters and involves at least both the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons of the rotator cuff. Large and massive tears are most common in the older population, generally over the age of 60 years. Many complex tears occur in older patients because of rotator cuff degeneration and/or rotator cuff atrophy followed by a traumatic or repetitive overuse injury.

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Rotator Cuff Surgery for Large Tears

Dr. Getelman may recommend rotator cuff surgery for patients diagnosed with a large and complex tear of a tendon. The goal of treatment is to restore shoulder function and reduce the pain level.

A large full thickness tear is best treated soon after the injury before potential irreversible changes occur to the muscles associated with the rotator cuff. A traditional open rotator cuff surgery was once reserved for patients suffering from a large or complex tear. During this technique, an incision was created over the shoulder so the deltoid (shoulder) muscle can be detached to gain better access to the torn tendon and to perform the repair. Arthroscopic repairs are now routine for some specialists and allow for outpatient surgery, less pain and often a faster recovery. Currently, Dr. Getelman is able to perform all rotator cuff repairs arthroscopically, even for massive tears. Dermal matrix allograft, has allowed patients with very large retracted rotator cuff tears to potentially have better outcomes after surgery.

What is a Dermal Matrix Allograft for Rotator Cuff Augmentation?

A dermal matrix allograft is typically reserved for patients with large and complex rotator cuff tears. Decellularized human allografts are designed to augment the rotator cuff soft tissue defects and reduce the risk of recurrent tearing in a large retracted tear. There does not appear to be any concern for graft rejection during the healing process.

Rotator cuff surgeon, Dr. Getelman is able to utilize a dermal matrix allograft during an arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, particularly for previously failed surgery to provide biomechanical strength to the repaired site, as well as to promote healing with a low risk of adverse reactions to the graft.

For more resources on arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery with the use of a dermal matrix allograft, please contact the Thousand Oaks, Van Nuys and Los Angeles, California orthopedic office of Dr. Mark Getelman, rotator cuff surgeon.