Coming Back From The Brink
“Torn rotator cuff, surgical repair recommended” are words every wheelchair user dreads. Unfortunately, an active life on wheels can put more demands on the shoulders than they were designed for. Just as time, age and injury can cause ambulatory people to face knee and hip surgery, wheelchair users often end up with shoulder damage that requires surgery.
Fortunately, rotator cuff repair techniques exist and continue to evolve. A surgery developed in 2007 called SCR — superior capsular reconstruction — is able to mend many severe rotator cuff tears that previously would have been considered beyond repair. Before this discovery, severe tears required reverse shoulder replacement. RSR is a complex surgery that generally limits wheelchair users to a power chair, as it is unclear how long the materials used to reconstruct the ball and socket would last under the rigors of pushing a manual chair. Also,