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Superior Capsular Reconstruction

What is Superior Capsular Reconstruction?

Superior capsular reconstruction (SCR) is an advanced arthroscopic procedure where a damaged rotator cuff tendon is replaced by a soft tissue graft that spans from the shoulder socket (glenoid) to the arm bone (humerus). The graft is secured to the bones with anchors and sutures, as well as being repaired to the remaining intact rotator cuff tendons. SCR is used to manage complex cases where one or more of the torn rotator cuff tendons cannot be repaired. 

The graft tissue can either be taken from the patient’s thigh (autograft) or it can be donor tissue (allograft). 

Other problems may also be present at the same time, such as AC Joint arthritis or long head of the biceps tendon injury. Depending upon the severity of these problems, other procedures such as distal clavicle excision or biceps tenodesis may be performed at the same time as the superior capsular reconstruction.

After SCR Procedure

Following an SCR procedure, generally you will be able to return home the day after surgery. Your arm will need a sling and you will receive a referral for physiotherapy.

There are temporary restrictions regarding how much you can move your shoulder after surgery. These are necessary to prevent you from inadvertently damaging the shoulder before the repaired structures have healed. Once the graft has healed you will need to undergo extensive physiotherapy in order to regain movement and strength in your shoulder.

Superior capsular reconstruction is only suitable for certain patients. At the Melbourne Shoulder and Elbow Centre, our surgeons are experts at managing complex rotator cuff problems and can guide you to the best treatment for your specific problem. 

For more information on superior capsular reconstruction, we recommend contacting our surgeons for an initial consultation.

Surgeons that perform this procedure

Mr Harry Clitherow

Orthopaedic Surgeon

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Mr Brendan Soo

Orthopaedic Surgeon

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