anatomy of shoulder with balloon Without the help of a functioning rotator cuff, the humeral head, or the top of your arm, 'rides high' in the joint, restricting motion and causing friction. The effects of a torn or retracted rotator cuff can cause a tremendous amount of pain to those suffering with it.

The InSpace® Balloon implant by Stryker® is a breakthrough, minimally invasive, procedure for rotator cuff tears in the shoulder. Performed by your orthopedic surgeon, a small incision is made in the shoulder and a biodegradable, balloon-shaped, spacer is inserted and inflated with water. The balloon acts as a cushion in the space above the shoulder's ball-and-socket joint, depressing the humeral head downward, as the rotator cuff would, and in turn reducing the pain of the arm being displaced.

This procedure, requiring only 10 days to 2 weeks of post-operative rehabilitation, can be a great alternative to more invasive procedures offered that need a longer recovery with lengthy physical therapy required. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Nathan Melton explains, "The Inspace® balloon is a good option for patients that may be too young for a shoulder replacement or have a rotator cuff repair that may be unrepairable."

"This surgery is a good option for pain relief and can allow better function as it allows the deltoid muscle to work more efficiently and have less reliance on the rotator cuff," Dr. Melton continued.

Dr. Melton The balloon insert is biodegradable and will completely dissolve in about 12-months. This timeline does not, however, directly affect pain relief. While the balloon allows proper positioning and movement of the shoulder joint, it also helps the surrounding muscles to strengthen and create support, allowing many to experience continued pain relief anywhere from 2 to even 11 years, in some of the most successful cases.

"Long-term outcomes are still being determined, but because the balloon is resorbable and not a permanent structure, it's not burning any bridges as far as future shoulder replacements are concerned." Assures Dr. Melton. Patients can opt to repeat this relatively uncomplicated procedure for extended pain relief or explore a more extensive course of treatment as time progresses.

With the implant's first use in Europe in 2010 and it's FDA approval in July of 2021, this procedure has been proven widely effective for rotator cuff related pain. Dr. Melton has been implementing Stryker's InSpace® Balloon implant in his course of treatment to patients since August of 2021 and, along with fellow OA providers who provide this treatment, Orthopedic Associates has completed more than anyone in the Miami Valley!

Experience Matters, and Orthopedic Associates is committed to offering the most innovative and effective care to improve our patient's quality of life. If you or someone you know is interested in a consultation or more information, contact us today at 800-824-9861.

Stryker® and InSpace® are registered trademarks of Stryker Corporation.