MSE Research Project Database

Biomechanical evaluation of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair techniques and tendon-transfer surgery

Project Leader: David Ackland
Collaborators: Martin Richardson (Dept of Surgery)
Primary Contact: David Ackland (
Keywords: biomechanics; biomedical engineering; disease; musculoskeletal modelling; physiotherapy
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences

Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of shoulder pain, occurring in more than 60% of people over the age of sixty. The past decade has seen the evolution of rotator cuff tear management from open and minimally open repairs, to all-arthroscopic techniques. The now common use of suture anchors in shoulder surgery has revolutionised athroscopic rotator cuff repair. Despite technological advances, complications may occur with arthroscopic suture anchors, including failure of the tissue, suture, or anchor before healing has occurred. This aim of this project is twofold: firstly, to assess the functional performance of a novel anchor-based surgical repair technique for reconstruction of the shoulder tendon; and secondly, to assess the function of the shoulder after a latissimus dorsi tendon transfer procedure. An orthopaedic surgeon will perform all surgeries on cadaveric upper extremities. Shoulder motion simulations will then be performed using a custom-designed shoulder simulator. Motion, force and pressure sensing instrumentation will be employed to measure shoulder behaviour, and to assess the performance of the rotator cuff repair and tendon transfer under a variety of different loading conditions. This project will be conducted in conjunction with Epworth Healthcare.