How Graft Delivery Devices Can Repair Rotator Cuff Tears

05 Mar 2020

Rotator cuff tears are becoming increasingly common and the treatment can be challenging for orthopedic surgeons. Surgery failure rates can be up to 90% for large tears of multiple tendons. Bone grafting can increase the success of surgery by preventing retears from happening and promoting better recovery. Here’s how a graft delivery device can be used to repair rotator cuff tears.

graft delivery device

How Does It Work?

A bone graft delivery device is implanted by either an open incision or by arthroscopic techniques. The type of graft that is used is an allograft from the skin of human donors. When implanted during outpatient surgery, it creates a scaffold bridge that reinforces the repair work as well as creating a framework for the patient’s own cells to repopulate. The bridge keeps the ball of the bone in your arm centered within the shoulder socket so you’re able to raise your arm over your head when it’s fully healed.

What Is The Recovery Process?

After the surgery is complete, many patients report an immediate reduction in pain levels and increased mobility. Patients are typically allowed to go home the same day while wearing a shoulder immobilizer sling. The patient is required to wear the sling for at least six weeks. They may take it off for a brief period of time for certain activities such as using a computer or taking a bath. Exercises and stretching may be prescribed to help speed recovery.

Patients can resume light activities around six months after their surgery. This recovery time is significantly longer than other injuries such as bone fractures, which take about two to 10 weeks to fully heal. Full healing from bone graft surgery for a rotator cuff can take up to 12 months. The graft requires this much time to fully incorporate with the shoulder joint before any heavy lifting can occur. You may or may not regain full range of motion but you will see significant improvement.

Using a graft delivery device for rotator cuff repair has shown significant benefits for patients with healing and the prevention of reinjury. It may also be able to prevent or slow down the development of arthritis over time. Individuals who are considering this bone repair procedure should consult with an orthopedic surgeon who can determine whether or not they would make a good candidate.