Pam Lock is a university lecturer from Bristol who had been suffering in pain due to a damaged tissue on her right shoulder in her 20s that only worsened over the years. But using a patch made from cow tissue, the 43-year-old woman's painful shoulder injury was cured.

Talking to Daily Mail's Richard Webber, Pam narrates her experience before and after receiving the treatment administered by consultant orthopedic surgeon Andrew Chambler.

 Cow Tissue Used in Repairing Shoulder Muscle Tear of A Woman in the UK
(Photo : Pixabay)
Cow Tissue Used in Repairing Shoulder Muscle Tear of A Woman in the UK

Cow Tissue Cured Painful Shoulder Injury

Pam told Webber that she sometimes would have migraines and struggle with tasks that need raising her arms above her head. She can not even use a hairdryer because of her injury. Also, gardening is a challenging task as her movements are limited. By the age of 30, she stopped rowing and got an office job.

Pam told the Daily Mail that she tried various methods to relieve her pain, such as taking painkillers and a steroid injection to reduce inflammation but to no avail. She also saw a physiotherapist but the pain still remains.

Her MRI scan showed that the tendon in her right shoulder was being squeezed, hence the painful feeling when she moves. In February 2018, she undergo decompression surgery that slightly shaved the tissues between and above the ball-and-socket joint of her shoulder to create more in the joint and prevent from squeezing the tendon.

However, it only relieved the pain for a year because it eventually returned. It devastated her that she resorted to hypnotherapy to help her deal with the thought that she might be living forever in pain.

But then Chambler offered her a new treatment where a small patch made from cow tissue is put over the tear and the body's tissue will eventually grow to strengthen it. Chambler explained that Pam's condition was a rotator cuff tear, which weakens the shoulder and prevents patients to do daily activities according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

It was a minimally invasive procedure that only took one hour to perform with a quick recovery. She was prescribed painkillers for the next seven days as they healed. Now, she can do stretching exercises, lift weights, and do gardening.

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Why Use Cow Tissue?

Chambler told Daily Mail that treatment on patients with rotator cuff tear starts with physiotherapy, painkillers or steroid injections, and then surgery which has a long recovery time. However, patients could still live with pain after that.

He explained that the new Regeneten patch is a minimally invasive option to treat the rotator cuff tear. It can be used in all sizes of shoulder tissue tears and has a quicker recovery time than other surgical options. The method is used extensively in the US, Australia, and now in the UK.

The patch is made from collagen extracted from a cow. This material is used because humans and cows have similar proteins supporting the joints and tissues. The patch was treated before putting it into the body to avoid rejection and encourage the natural healing of the tendon as well as facilitate natural tissue growth.

In a separate event but with similar technology, PR Newswire reported that global medical technology business Smith+Nephew's REGENETEN Bioinductive Implant for partial-thickness rotator cuff tears significantly improved shoulder function of the patient during the early recovery period.

Like Pam's case, physiotherapy is needed after receiving the patch made from cow tissue to strengthen the joint and surrounding muscles. Most patients can return to work three to six weeks after.

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