OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Nebraska Medical Center a five-year, $1.9 million grant to study severe tears of the rotator cuff, a common problem that impacts thousands of people every year.
The rotator cuff is a set of four muscles and tendons that play a key role in function of the shoulder. When injuries of the rotator cuff aren't treated adequately, they may significantly affect quality of life. The result can be ongoing shoulder pain, inability to raise the arm, and, eventually shoulder arthritis.
More than 250,000 rotator cuff repair surgeries are performed annually in the U.S. alone.
The goal is to engineer a rotator cuff graft, using a special 3D printer. Preliminary studies have shown the grafts to be safe and viable.