Superior Capsular

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Among surgeons of varying skill levels and experience, the failure rates for rotator cuff surgery have been reported to range anywhere from 11%-94%. Superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) is a state-of-the-art surgical advancement designed to treat irreparable rotator cuff tears. Internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist Dr. Paul Hovis is highly skilled at performing SCR surgery. He sees patients from across the country and around the world at the Arizona Center for Hand Surgery, as their only shoulder specialist. Contact one of the convenient office locations in Phoenix, the Northwest Valley, or Mesa, Arizona for an in-person or remote evaluation today

What are some causes of failed rotator cuff repair?

The success rate of rotator cuff repair surgery, whether it’s done openly or arthroscopically, depends on multiple factors, making it a complex problem to analyze. Although surgeon skill and experience can have a significant impact on the outcome of any type of shoulder surgery, many patient-related factors can also affect outcome.

Age, smoking history, the size of the tear, and the quality of the tissue being repaired can all play a role in the ultimate failure of a rotator cuff repair. A patient’s disregard for following post-surgery protocol designed to allow healing of the repaired tissue can also lead to a failed outcome.

What are the best treatment options?

After rotator cuff repair surgery failure, it’s important to undergo a thorough evaluation to make sure you have as complete a picture as possible of the main factors responsible in your individual case. This may include tests to evaluate the nerve supply to your rotator cuff, as well as the condition of the tissues in your shoulder.

If the quality of the rotator cuff tissue is good, Dr. Hovis may recommend a revision arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery. Another possible option is arthroscopic rotator cuff repair with graft reinforcement, which involves applying a patch to the rotator cuff to help share the load and reduce stress as the area heals.

When is Superior Capsular Reconstruction used?

If you have a tear that involves a significant loss of rotator cuff tissue, finding a solution can be more challenging. In the past, surgical techniques used to address this problem included undergoing a partial repair, a partial repair with bridging graft or a tendon transfer, or even a reverse total shoulder replacement.

For patients who have experienced failed rotator cuff repair and have found themselves left with irreparable rotator cuff tears, superior capsule reconstruction offers a viable solution for treatment. The surgery involves anchoring a graft between the socket and the head of the upper arm bone to restore continuity to the capsule and mechanical balance to the joint. Although this treatment is relatively new, research shows that SCR is biomechanically superior to traditional bridging graft procedures.

Why is Superior Capsular Reconstruction beneficial?

Individuals typically recover from surgery better when their native anatomy can be preserved and restored. Given the exciting results of this cutting-edge procedure, Dr. Hovis believes that patients will regain their ability to move their shoulders comfortably by undergoing arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction surgery, particularly when they have otherwise irreparable rotator cuff tears.

To learn more about this cutting-edge procedure, contact Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery for an in-person or remote appointment with Dr. Hovis today.

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