News Surgical technique for improved healing of tendons in rotator cuff tears (shoulder tendon tears)
Shoulder tendon tears do not always have to be operated on. If an operation is required, innovative approaches are required so the repaired tendon does not re-rupture. A publication by our Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Department is concerned with precisely this subject.
Rotator cuff tears (shoulder tendon tears) are one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions. They can be associated with significant pain and functional impairments. In some but not all cases, an operation to reconstruct the tendon is required. Unfortunately, despite improved surgical techniques and new materials for rotator cuff reconstruction, some reconstructed tendons do re-rupture. Innovative approaches are therefore required for improved tendon healing.
A publication by the Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Department at the Schulthess Klinik deals with precisely this topic: Florian Freislederer, Michael Dittrich and Prof. Markus Scheibel describe a special surgical technique, in which the positive characteristics of the bursal tissues are used. The part of the bursa that is still healthy is sutured arthroscopically – with the smallest of incisions – onto the repaired shoulder tendon. Besides the slight mechanical reinforcement, above all this can also trigger a biological strengthening of the tendon, as the bursal tissue has a very high concentration of stem cells that can positively influence healing. In addition, the numerous blood vessels in the bursal tissue enable improved circulation in the tendon which can also support healing.
At the Schulthess Klinik, this technique has already been implemented regularly for rotator cuff tears, with the expectation that many repaired shoulder tendons will thus achieve more robust healing in the long term. These results are being recorded in a study. The first results are expected in one to two years’ time.