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Shoulder Repair Technique Borrows From Cadavers

After frequent dislocations, 'sculpting' procedure may be long-term solution, researchers say

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who frequently experience shoulder dislocations can benefit from a procedure that "sculpts" a new shoulder using bone and cartilage from cadavers, new research suggests.

The study, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, finds that the procedure could be an alternative to methods that stabilize or reconstruct a shoulder joint by repairing ligaments and tissues.

"In situations where there's missing bone... the soft tissues see forces that are much higher than they can withstand and they fail," Dr. Jon Sekiya, surgeon and associate professor at the University of Michigan Health System, said in a university news release.

In the new procedure, doctors "transfer and transplant the tissue from a cadaver to a human by matching it with X-rays to make sure the sizes are appropriate, then in surgery we actually shape it to be the same shape and consistency as the patient and then secure it in there and let it heal," Sekiya explained.

"We've been very successful at this. We've been able to stabilize shoulders that have been dislocating recurrently and have even failed one, two, sometimes three surgical procedures that did not address the bone and cartilage damage," he added in the news release.

More information

Learn more about shoulder injuries from U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, December 2009

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