New Approach Offers Minimally Invasive Repair for Rotator Cuff Injuries

Fox News—November 19, 2015

Alexandria Hein, health news editor for, covers a new innovative technique for irreparable torn rotator cuffs called superior capsule reconstruction. She talks to Dr. Joshua Dines, sports medicine surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, about this new procedure that he performs on patients.

Superior capsule reconstruction offers patients the option to undergo a minimally invasive procedure with less recovery time than the standard treatment of reverse shoulder replacement. The procedure is performed in less than an hour under regional anesthesia.

"They seem to not be in much pain," Dr. Dines said. "By four to six weeks they have full motion."

Prospective patients for this new procedure are those with irreparable rotator cuff tears. These can occur in patients who have never had prior surgery, and those who have had failed repairs. A particular benefit may be in those looking to delay shoulder replacement and in young, active patients with irreparable tears that are looking to stay involved in sports and manual labor.

Another perk, Dr. Dines said, is that rotator cuff repairs through reverse shoulder replacement may last only 10 years, but once it fails, there is not much left for a surgeon to do. As for this new technique, Dr. Dines said the worst-case scenario for patients is that the procedure failed. Even if that happens, there’s no bridges burned and patients are back to where they started.

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