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When patients exhibit problems with shoulder pain and weakness, they may have experienced a rotator cuff tear. Dr. Robert Morgan of OrthoCarolina Concord likens the rotator cuff to a rope and, with a partial tear, the rope is frayed.

Traditional surgery for these tears can result in long, painful recoveries with patients unable to move their arm for up to four months. By using a Rotation Medical Patch, Dr. Morgan says patients can experience far less pain and outpatient recovery, with restrictions lifted in just three months.

What makes a patch repair different? Using this new technology, bovine collagen incorporates into the tear over a six month period utilizing the body’s natural ability to heal itself. When repairing a rotator cuff tear through traditional surgery, the two sides of the tear are stretched to bring them back together. The patch, instead, covers the tear without stretching, keeping the tendons strong, giving the arm more power and preventing future tears. Patches can also be used to fix older repairs that are no longer working correctly.

During the procedure, a camera feeds into a sheath in the shoulder to allow doctors to see the extent of the tear. The rolled up patch is inserted into that same sheath and deploys like a parachute that’s then tacked in place.

Want to see for yourself exactly how this procedure works? Watch here for a recorded live stream of the surgery with Dr. Morgan.


June 22, 2022

How long is recovery for the patch?
- Sammie
Reply From: OrthoCarolina

June 23, 2022

Hi Sammie, thank you for your question. We sourced an answer for you: After surgery, patient's wear a sling for a few days and can then use the arm - light lifting (dinner plate), ok raise arm up in front of you (like raising your hand in class, straight in front of you) and ok to reach behind you back (bra strap move). No raising arms out to your side (airplane/chicken wing) and no shrugging for 3 months. 3 months after surgery - no restrictions and 6 months after surgery before patients feel like it is 100% recovered. As always we recommend consulting with an orthopedic specialist for personalized care and prognoses based on your symptoms and health history.

June 06, 2018

I'm sorry to have missed seeing the surgeries. I'm a retired Surgical Nurse. I'm curious to see what has changed in the years since I retired. I hope you schedule more ortho surgeries in the future.
- Martha McNinch
Reply From: OrthoCarolina

June 07, 2018

Hi Martha, The entire video is available on the OrthoCarolina Facebook page. Thank you!