When the tissue of the rotator cuff is too thin after an injury, or if the tissue is of poor quality, it may be impossible to repair the rotator cuff successfully without a tissue graft. Superior capsular reconstruction is a graft procedure that adds tissue to the top portion of the rotator cuff, preventing the top of your arm bone from moving up too high or coming out of the shoulder socket.
If you need a rotator cuff procedure, the orthopedic surgeons at Marin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine have years of experience diagnosing and treating injuries at our office in Novato, CA.
Who needs superior capsular reconstruction?
Patients who experience an irreparable tear but have otherwise healthy shoulders with no arthritis may be candidates for the superior capsular reconstruction. Surgeons call a torn tendon irreparable when the tissue is not good enough quality to be reattached successfully. Without strong tissue to hold it in place, the humeral head, which is the top of your upper arm, can start to migrate upwards and come out of the socket. Using graft tissue to reinforce and reattach the rotator cuff can restore function to the shoulder when other treatment methods aren’t possible.
Steroid injections and conservative management can help control pain for irreparable tendon damage, but these treatments generally cannot fix functional problems with the shoulder. Superior capsular restoration may be able to help restore motion and prevent the humeral head from moving out of place. This procedure can prevent the need for a reverse shoulder replacement or another more extensive procedure.
The Superior Capsular Reconstruction Procedure
This type of ligament reconstruction is usually done arthroscopically, preventing the need for a large surgical opening in the shoulder. A piece of graft tissue will be measured and cut to replace or augment the missing or irreparable rotator cuff. This graft will be attached using surgical sutures. The surgical sutures and the graft are inserted through the small openings used for the arthroscopic procedure.
One end of the graft is sutured onto the humeral head (the arm bone), and the other end will be attached to the edge of the ring of soft tissue that surrounds the shoulder socket. The graft will support the shoulder joint and prevent the humeral head from moving out of its natural position.
After the surgery, there will be a three- to six-month period of rehabilitation. Rest, exercises, physical therapy, and other treatments will likely be recommended to produce the best results.
Superior Capsular Reconstruction in Novato, CA
If you experience a rotator cuff injury, the team at Marin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Novato, CA, can help. Our team works hard to help you return to your active lifestyle using the least invasive, most effective treatments available. Superior capsular reconstruction can potentially prevent the need for a full shoulder replacement while restoring function to the rotator cuff and reducing pain and other symptoms. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and find out if surgery is right for you.