UofG doctor performs first surgery of its kind in Europe

A doctor from the University of Glasgow was today the first surgeon in Europe to implant and trial a new type of ‘scaffold’ device in the shoulders of a patient at Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow.
Surgeons successfully completed the operation and implanted the device in a 55 year old female with a traumatic rotator cuff tear.

The new TissueMend Soft Tissue Repair Matrix device is an acellular collagen membrane used to augment the repair and reinforcement of soft tissues in patients with rotator cuff tears in their shoulder. The device serves as a scaffold for cellular ingrowth that is gradually remodelled by the body's own tissues.

Rotator cuff tears are common, with an overall prevalence of 34% with approximately 30,000 UK rotator cuff surgeries every year, at a cost to the NHS of approximately £250m. They are caused by inflammation or a tear in the muscles and tendons in the shoulder area.

Rotator cuff tears can develop after an injury or as a result of wear and tear. It’s a common cause of shoulder pain and, as a result, is more likely to affect older people. The injury can make it difficult to do everyday tasks, such as brushing your hair as it limits the movement of the affected arm.

Glasgow is the first European Centre to trial this new device which, until now, has only been in use in the USA. Use of the device builds on the extensive research of UofG’s Dr Neal Miller, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Orthopaedics and Honorary Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the University’s Institute of Infection,Immunity and Inflammation, who was contacted by Stryker, the makers of the device.

Dr Neal Millar said: “It was fantastic to be chosen to be the first surgeon in Europe to perform this type of surgery with the new TissueMend device.

Mr Kevin Butler , European Brand Manager, Sports-Medicine & Arthroscopy for Stryker said: “We are delighted that we have been able to have our first European implant in Glasgow. Dr Millar is a world leader in tendon injuries and repair and our collaboration with him over several years has allowed us to use Glasgow for our TissueMend launch.”

The TissueMend scaffold provides a biologic environment to help the
tendon heal and fortify the tissue until it has completed the healing process. Our hope is that they are more effective long term for the patients and could help prevent further surgeries, therefore providing a significant cost savings to the NHS if they are widely adopted.”

Enquiries: ali.howard@glasgow.ac.uk or elizabeth.mcmeekin@glasgow.ac.uk // 0141 330 6557 or 0141 330 4831

First published: 29 January 2018

<< January