Healthcast: New Rotator Cuff


The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that come together to help comfortably lift and rotate your arm. Rotator cuff tears are extremely common, with up to 30 percent of the population over the age of 60 suffering from them. But what happens when standard repair surgery fails? Now, there is a new procedure from Japan called superior capsule reconstruction.

Reginald or “Reggie” Lucas is a coach, who loves playing golf. But after tearing his rotator cuff, his entire life was impacted.

“I was really limited to a lot of things I couldn’t do because I had to sleep on one side of the bed, and didn’t get enough sleep because of the pain I would be in,” Lucas said.

After five failed rotator cuff surgeries, Reggie went to see Kevin Kaplan, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute, who is also Head Team Physician for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dr. Kaplan said, “He was in such pain with limited function he said I’d like to try anything to make this better.”

Dr. Kaplan recommended superior capsule reconstruction. Using donated tissue to recreate the rotator cuff, “we attach that to both the socket and the ball, and it acts almost like a reverse trampoline and it keeps the ball centered in the socket,” Dr. Kaplan explained.

The surgery was successful. Reggie’s pain was gone almost immediately.

“When I came back and I showed doc how the range of motion was with the arm, he said I release you to putt well I didn’t tell him I was already swinging,” Lucas laughed.

“His results have been fantastic, and he has been one of the biggest advocates I’ve had. In fact I’ve had patients who were nervous about the procedure, and he was able to talk them through his process and how well he’s done with this,” Dr. Kaplan said.

Lucas said, “On a scale of one to ten, I’m at a ten plus.”

Dr. Kaplan says the risk of rejection and infection of donated tissue in superior capsule reconstruction is extremely low, because the body will incorporate the tissue as part of its own.

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