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Quick Case

Success With Grafting Technique After Severe Rotator Cuff Injury

FIGURE 1: Rotator cuff graft pre-implantation. Image courtesy of Alison Toth, MD.

FIGURE 1: Rotator cuff graft pre-implantation in a different one of Toth’s patients.

A 38-year-old man sustained a serious shoulder injury when he fell while replacing a light bulb in his home. Knowing that optimal treatment would be vital to ensure that he could continue his career as a head and neck surgeon, he consulted with Duke orthopaedic surgeon Alison Toth, MD.

Physical examination and findings on magnetic resonance imaging revealed that all of the patient’s rotator cuff tendons were badly ruptured. “This was such a severe injury that the only way to reconstruct his shoulder successfully was to use a graft to patch the tendons,” says Toth.

Question: After a slow start in gaining acceptance as a viable surgical option, why is this grafting technique becoming increasingly popular for repairing massive rotator cuff tears?

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