Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I'm 78-years old and have been diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear and osteoporosis. I've been told the osteoporosis puts me at risk for a failed rotator cuff repair. If the muscle is the problem, what difference does it make if the bones are brittle?

Answer:

The tendons attach to the bone and must be reattached after injury in order to give you back shoulder motion and strength. Some of the newer ways of repairing rotator cuff tears involve drilling holes through the bone. Then the doctor threads the sutures through the tunnel to the other side. This gives the repair strength and the shoulder stability.

The sutures may not hold if the bone is soft or brittle from osteoporosis. In cases of bone problems, they can use special anchors that look like buttons to help hold the stitches in place.

Harald Boszotta, MD, and Klaus Prünner, MD. Arthroscopically Assisted Rotator Cuff Repair. In Arthroscopy. July-August 2004. Vol. 20. No. 6. Pp. 620-626.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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