When you tear your rotator cuff, the function of the entire arm is severely reduced. The arm becomes weak and you cannot raise it. Severe pain during the night will make it hard for you to sleep. For more than sixty years the cuff has been successfully repaired via tunnels drilled through the humerus bone. In the past, when surgeons needed to access the shoulder, they had to loosen up the deltoid muscle. After this open surgery, nearly one quarter of all patients experienced unpleasant stiffness in their shoulders, and this required further surgery.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery started thirty years ago. The shoulder is inspected with a camera inserted through a small opening, which, along with that for inserting the surgical tool, leaves only tiny scars. The stiffness issue has been resolved, and nowadays it is a problem in just a few patients. However, a new issue has emerged. It is not so easy to prepare the tunnels. This is why we started using anchors, which can be either metal or plastic. However, with the anchors there is the problem that as they are firmly inserted into the bone, they hurt more than tunnels after surgery. Moreover, they take up the most valuable space in the bone – right at the point where the tendon needs to heal.
Some orthopedic surgeons however did not give up, and have continued to develop ever more sophisticated tools enabling arthroscopic preparation of the tunnels. Our newest device does this in a highly precise and reliable fashion. We are thrilled to see our patients reporting just minor pain after surgery. Within just a few days they can sleep and dream again without any problems.