Dr. R. Michael Greiwe has developed what he calls a “game-changing” procedure that may revolutionize shoulder replacement surgery. As a Shoulder, Elbow, and Sports Medicine specialist for Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers, Dr. Greiwe has performed many shoulder replacements for grateful patients, and he has helped them through the long recovery process that has traditionally accompanied the procedure.
Traditional shoulder replacement requires the surgeon to take the rotator cuff off to, as Dr. Greiwe says, “open the front door” to the shoulder. That allows access from the front to replace the shoulder joint, and then the rotator cuff needs to be reattached at the end of the surgery. That process, which involves cutting the muscle and tendons, requires additional healing and rehabilitation from a tendon repair, as well as the expected recovery from the replacement of the shoulder joint itself.
Dr. Greiwe has always had an intense interest in research, and through that research he developed a new approach to shoulder replacement called the Rotator Cuff Sparing Method for Total Shoulder Replacement. In Dr. Greiwe’s approach, he enters the shoulder from the back, and then he says, “What we do is we actually open the rotator cuff like curtains in a window. We actually never cut it, we just sort of separate the fibers and we peer inside the joint to do the work we need to do and then we just bring the curtains back together at the end of the procedure.” He adds that “there’s not the down time and the recovery that’s needed for the rotator cuff repair.”