Surgeon’s ‘shoulder patch’ alleviates pain for patients suffering torn tendons

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PATIENTS with a painful shoulder injury could see their lives transformed thanks to an innovative treatment invented by a Yorkshire surgeon.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Roger Hackney designed a fabric patch – the Leeds-Kuff Patch – which helps to repair torn shoulder tendons. Mr Hackney, who works at Spire Leeds Hospital in Roundhay, Leeds, developed the implant as there was a lack of effective treatment for younger patients.

He said: “The special joint replacement for someone without a rotator cuff is only generally recommended for a patient over 70. For younger patients, the thought they would have to suffer a life of pain and restricted movement, often resulting in them not being able to work, seemed unacceptable.

“One of the advantages of the patch is that it can be used where no other repair can be achieved and the alternative treatments might give a poor outcome, so the patch is a great advance for this condition.”

The surgeon, a former Olympic runner who competed at the 1984 Los Angeles games, developed his idea with Leeds-based firm Neoligaments. It is stitched in place over the rotator cuff, the muscle that enables the arm to be raised, and holds repaired tendons in place, alleviating pain and restoring movement.

The first patient was treated in January 2013 .

The treatment has been approved for use in the UK and Europe.

Margaret Dyson, from Moortown, Leeds, was in constant pain and could not lift her arm before she had this operation.

The 53-year-old said: “I’m really pleased with my range of movement and following the success of the surgery, I’m looking forward to getting my other shoulder done.”

She said she would recommend it to others: “I would say it is a miracle and would and advise anyone who is in a similar situation to find out more about this procedure,” she added.