The rotator cuff is one of the most important parts of the shoulder, as it consists of muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder in place and allow the body to lift the arm and reach for items. Unfortunately, rotator cuff injuries are the most common source of shoulder pain and disability, affecting more than 4 million Americans annually, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A rotator cuff injury can greatly reduce quality of life, as it makes daily activities painful and difficult to do.
Those who suffer from rotator cuff disease often avoid surgery to repair the tear because they hear about painful, lengthy postoperative rehabilitation and time away from work. In addition, traditional procedures have focused only on biomechanical repair of the tendon without addressing the underlying biology, which can result in tears progressing and re-tears in the rotator cuff tendon after an initial repair.
A new technology is now available that helps tendons heal by stimulating the growth of new tendon tissue. The Rotation Medical Bioinductive Implant, which is about the size of a postage stamp, is inserted through a small incision during a short, minimally invasive procedure. Surgical staples hold the implant in place until fibers and tendons of the rotator cuff grow into the implant. The first-of-its-kind implant can provide a range of potential benefits, including shorter rehabilitation, faster recovery, prevention or slowing of disease progression, healing of partial-thickness tears, and decreased risk of developing a subsequent tear.
For people like Starr Boykin, a company executive of Mobile, Alabama, the implant can be life changing. Boykin, who is also involved in competitive fishing tournaments, was recovering from rotator cuff surgery in her right shoulder when, in physical therapy, her left shoulder began to hurt from what turned out to be another rotator cuff tear. Despite multiple surgeries on her left shoulder, pain persisted for over a year.
“My doctor told me there was nothing else they could do, that I needed reverse shoulder replacement,” Boykin says. “Being a professional fisherwoman and having already undergone serious shoulder surgeries, this really upset me. I got a second and then a third opinion, and the two other doctors told me the exact same thing.”
After hearing about a physician in Florida who was using the Rotation Medical Bioinductive Implant, Boykin met with Dr. Christopher O’Grady at the Andrews Institute, who evaluated her case and told her shoulder replacement surgery was not her only option.
“Starr was a great candidate for the Bioinductive Implant because her injury wasn’t a technical problem, it was a biology problem,” Dr. O’Grady says. “The implant didn’t just temporarily repair her rotator cuff, it completely healed the injury and gave her the ability to achieve functional range of motion more quickly than a traditional, more invasive surgical treatment.”
Despite several previous failed rotator cuff surgeries, Boykin is making a full recovery and is back to competitive fishing.
“After the surgery I felt an immediate difference,” Boykin says. “After six months, I was back to fishing in tournaments and paddling in my kayak. I’m so grateful for the Rotation Medical technology, which gave me full use of my arm and shoulder and has given me my life back.”
For more information about the Rotation Medical Bioinductive Implant or to find a surgeon near you, www.rotationmedical.com. For important safety information, visit http://rotationmedical.com/our-solution/risks/.