Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears Treated in Pittsburgh, PA
Christopher C. Schmidt, MD, is a nationally renowned shoulder surgeon who performs extensive studies in his biomechanical lab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By offering his patients personalized treatment advice from both a clinical standpoint and a research standpoint, he provides a truly unique and advantageous perspective.
One of Dr. Schmidt’s specialties is treating irreparable massive rotator cuff tears. Due to the size of the tear, the extent of tendon damage, and the amount of tendon retraction involved, these painful shoulder injuries cannot be repaired using conventional surgical techniques, such as releases of the capsule and coracohumeral ligament, margin convergence, and anterior and posterior slides (see Figures A and B; A is a coronal T2 MRI showing retraction of the tendon to the glenoid rim, and B is a sagittal T1 image depicting fat greater than muscle in the infraspinatus muscle).
As such, irreparable rotator cuff tears can be challenging to manage.
A Master of Proven & Innovative Surgical Techniques
Dr. Schmidt is dedicated to expanding the knowledge base of his field, educating his peers, and improving patient outcomes. Toward that end, he served on the editorial board for Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics, a novel resource that keeps practitioners informed of significant advances in all areas of surgical management. Dr. Schmidt’s work in that regard included editing a journal entry entitled “Shoulder and Elbow Controversies: Massive Rotator Cuff Tears and Distal Biceps Tendon Ruptures” (Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics. 2018; 28(4), 178-179), which describes and illustrates proven and innovative nonsurgical and surgical advances in the treatment of irreparable rotator cuff tears.
As an invited contributor, Dr. Schmidt was asked to focus on his preferred treatment technique for irreparable massive rotator cuff tears and his rationale on why it works. Along with his co-authors, Dr. Schmidt demonstrated the Pittsburgh technique for harvesting and performing an arthroscopic latissimus dorsi tendon transfer (A-LDTT), which can be ideal for treating pseudoparalysis of external rotation and improving above-shoulder hand control. Because this advanced technique avoids disruption to the deltoid muscle, it can result in a quicker recovery and a better clinical outcome.
As with any type of surgery, the key to a successful outcome is appropriate patient selection. If you have questions about A-LDTT or would like to discuss other treatment options with Dr. Schmidt, contact his office at (877) 471-0935 to schedule an appointment at one of his three office locations in the greater Pittsburgh, PA, area.