Augmentation and Grafting of Massive Rotator Cuff Repairs with Tendon Grafts

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that run from the scapula (shoulder blade) and attach to the humeral head (top of upper arm bone) by their tendons. When the rotator cuff is torn and left untreated for an extended period of time, the tendon retracts away from its attachment point and the muscle atrophies and degenerates (shrinks, weakens, and irreversibly turns to useless fat and scar tissue). This makes the repair technically more difficult and, in some cases, impossible. In these cases, an alternative method of repair is utilized. When one of the rotator cuff tendons is largely retracted and unrepairable, surgery using an extra portion of the biceps tendon, dermal allograft, or Iliotibial band to reinforce the rotator cuff repair can be helpful.

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