Torn rotator cuff tendons are common and produce pain down the side of the arm which is worse when the arm is lifted to the side. Often the tears can be treated with physiotherapy but some require surgery to repair the tendons, this is usually done with arthroscopy (keyhole surgery).
Occasionally the tears are too big to repair. In older patients a reverse shoulder replacement may be an option but this is usually not appropriate for those under 70 which means that many patients are left with no treatment options.
Superior Capsule Reconstruction is a new technique, pioneered in the UK by Mr. Duncan Tennent, which uses a pig-skin graft to replace the tendons. This is also done arthroscopically and is very successful at reducing the pain and improving the function of the arm.
Mr Tennent is based at St. George’s Hospital and undertakes all of the procedures at SWLEOC
Further details can be found at www.sgsu.co.uk