The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the head of your upper arm bone firmly in the shallow shoulder socket. This provides the ability to lift and rotate your arm. Due to repetitive motion or injury, the rotator cuff can develop partial or complete tearing. While the majority of these injuries can be treated through therapeutic or surgical approaches, a large or massive tear of the rotator cuff would often times result in life-long disability and pain.

Fortunately, there is a new option to treat this type of major injury. The procedure is called arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction and it is currently being performed by Dr. Daniel White with Casper Orthopedic Associates.

Dr. White called this procedure “remarkable” and explained that the 2 to 3 year outcomes that are being seen in current literature are unprecedented. The surgery is done through a minimally invasive technique and uses a graft of soft-tissue which is placed over the top of the shoulder joint to provide reinforcement. In this procedure, a repair of the patient’s tendon is not being done, but rather the graft is acting as a replacement to provide stability, eliminate pain and regain mobility in the affected shoulder.

“This procedure is a viable alternative for patients that once had irreparable rotator cuff tears,” Dr. White said. “A large number of these patients are able to return to work following this surgery and rehabilitation.”

Dr. White discussed that while this was not a common injury for patients in the United States, it was an injury frequently seen in Wyoming. He attributed this to the high density of industry-related careers that include heavy lifting and repetitive motions, including farming, oil and gas.

The majority of current data focuses on individuals between 50 and 70 years old who do not suffer from arthritis in the impacted joint, most who have been told there was no treatment option available. Once the repair is accomplished, an overwhelming number of the individuals have been able to return to work and participate in sports that they were previously unable to perform. Dr. White is currently the only provider performing this procedure at Summit Medical Center.

Summit Medical Center has always been committed to providing a level of care that may only be expected in larger metropolitan areas. Our specialists, like Dr. Daniel White allow patients to receive advanced, specialty care without having to leave the state.

To learn more about the many specialties offered at Summit Medical Center, visit our website at or call us at 307-232-6600.

Remember, you always have a choice in your healthcare. Summit Medical Center offers orthopedics; ear, nose and throat; pediatrics; gastrointestinal; primary care; general surgery; pulmonary and plastic surgery to the Central Wyoming area. With cost-competitive, high quality medical care and superior patient service, Summit Medical Center is changing the delivery of healthcare in Casper and beyond.

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