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Shoulder News

Technical Study for Improving Shoulder Surgery

Sheep have an important role in the operating room. It's from animal studies that doctors first learn what works and what doesn't. Often these studies are done in sheep. In a Turkish laboratory researchers are testing sheep tendons to find the best way to repair torn tendons.

Finding the best repair method is important. It needs to hold while giving the shoulder strength. Even a short period of inactivity can cause the shoulder to quickly become weak and stiff. That means that surgical repair of a torn rotator cuff must be strong enough to allow early shoulder motion.

This study reviews the results of four different methods to repair the shoulder rotator cuff. Four tendons make up the rotator cuff. One attaches the infraspinatus muscle to the shoulder. Studies are underway to improve the way this tendon is repaired.

The four repair techniques use different kinds of sutures or stitches to reattach the torn tendon to the bone. Sometimes there is only one suture. It's threaded through a tunnel in the bone and anchored on the other side. There may be double sutures and double tunnels. The suture can also be tied in one of several ways. Various combinations were tried in this study.

The authors summarize for doctors which suture material, knot, and method give the best strength. Technical studies like this help doctors know which methods work best and which ones have the least problems.


Mehmet Demirhan, MD, et al. Primary Fixation Strength of Rotator Cuff Repair Techniques: A Comparative Study. In Arthroscopy. July/August 2003. Vol. 19. No. 6. Pp. 572-576.


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