08:21 AM

E30: Is it safe to have surgery during COVID? with Dr. Ted Blaine

In this Optimal Health Uncovered podcast, HSS sports medicine surgeon Theodore A. Blaine, MD, discussed the latest techniques being used to treat and repair various shoulder injuries.

“For tendon type injuries, I think what we’ve found is unfortunately in the shoulder, tendons don’t heal. If you tear your rotator cuff and it’s a full tear, a complete tear, that tear is not going to heal. That’s changed our approach. While physical therapy can be incredibly important for partial tears, labral tears, and a variety of different things, when it becomes a full tear we’re much more likely to talk about surgery at an earlier point. We also have some newer techniques to repair tendons. There are times when the tendon tear is so large that you can’t fully reconstruct it with the patient's own tissue. So there has been work with graft procedures and biologics to be able to try and reconstruct a tendon that doesn’t exist anymore. We’re not totally there yet, but I think we’re making some great advances and it does give us opportunities we didn’t have before.”

Dr. Blaine continued, “On the arthritis side, we also have been able to make a lot of advances in that area. Preservation – so trying to preserve the patient’s bone and as much of their anatomy as we can, so if they ever needed further procedures in the future, we would have the ability to do them.”

Listen to the podcast at podcasts.apple.com/us.