7. Why have a second rotator cuff surgery?
When a rotator cuff re-tear occurs, Dr. Yau generally recommends a revision rotator cuff surgery to ensure a proper recovery. A second rotator cuff surgery is a more difficult procedure to perform, which is why it is very important to have a skilled orthopedic surgeon to perform the revision. During a revision surgery, Dr. Yau identifies the healthy tendon and reattaches to its anatomic attachment site.
In the case of ‘irreparable’ rotator cuff tears, patients may need to consider other options. Sometimes Dr. Yau will recommend a fairly new procedure known as superior capsular reconstruction. Introduced in 2007, this procedure was designed for patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears where shoulder arthritis is present. The goal of superior capsular reconstruction is to reconstruct the superior capsule, upper part of the shoulder joint’s lining, through the use of a dermal patch. Utilizing an arthroscopic approach, Dr. Yau attaches the dermal patch to the humeral head on one side, as well as to the rotator cuff tendons in the front and back. Superior capsular reconstruction has been effective at restoring mobility and improving function to patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears.