Superior Capsular Reconstruction as a
Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment
The shoulder is considered one of the largest and most complex joints in the human body. The shoulder’s anatomy is composed of numerous ligaments, tendons and muscles that allow a wide range of motion, including the rotator cuff. When a rotator cuff tear occurs from an injury, during sports activity or from an accident, the shoulder may experience decreased function. In certain patients, a rotator cuff tear can be very large and over time may atrophy and become irreparable months after a traumatic event or more commonly with a degenerative tear. Van Nuys, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California orthopedic shoulder surgeon, Dr. Mark Getelman specializes in several of the State of the Art reconstruction options including Biologic Augmentation, Dermal Allograft Augmentation and Superior Capsular Reconstruction (SCR) for patients suffering from an irreparable rotator cuff tear.
What is an Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tear?
The rotator cuff contains four tendons, the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. These four tendons work together, along with a number of muscles, to keep the humeral (upper arm bone) head concentric within the glenoid (shallow socket in the shoulder blade). When a tendon becomes torn from its attachment site, it causes patients to experience shoulder pain and limited function. With chronic tears, the rotator cuff atrophies and the humeral head cam migrate up from the socket leading to increased pain and weakness. Some large chronic tears can become scarred or the muscle can be irreversibly replaced by fat, leading to a stiff muscle that cannot contract.
An irreparable rotator cuff tear is characterized as a tear that Dr. Getelman cannot surgically reattached back to its original insertion location.