Double-Row Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
Double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is a new procedure used to fix full thickness rotator cuff tears (Fig. 1).
This minimally invasive technique maximizes the strength of the rotator cuff repair. Through very small skin incisions, special anchors with suture are placed into the bone at the medial border of the previous rotator cuff attachment site (FIg. 2). These anchors are made of a special bio-absorbable plastic that the body absorbs over time and replaces with bone. Next, two limbs of suture from each medial anchor are passed through the rotator cuff (Fig. 3). Finally, one limb of suture from each anchor is passed through additional anchors placed on the outer border of the previous rotator cuff attachment site (Fig. 4).
The goal of this repair technique is to cover a larger area of the previous bony attachment site, also known as the "footprint," with healthy rotator cuff tissue. This increased coverage is believed to increase the odds of healing and provide a stronger repair that is less likely to re-tear. Although continued research is needed to prove this theory, early research supports this less invasive procedure.
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Dr. King performs shoulder double-row arthroscopic rotator cuff repair procedures at the Des Peres Square Surgery Center in St. Louis, Missouri