Albert’s Story

Albert, GRAFTJACKET Regenerative Tissue Matrix Recipient
Albert, a 58 year-old Salem resident, looked forward to playing golf every summer. He played at least three times per week and credits the sport with providing a way for him to bond with friends and family. Unfortunately, last year a workplace accident nearly ended Albert’s hopes of teaching his young grandson how to swing a club.

Albert is a transportation manager at a Boston-based steel pipe manufacturer. During a routine delivery in late October 2008, Albert picked up pipes that were heavier than he anticipated and immediately experienced a sharp pain. He over-rotated his right shoulder and, while he did not go to the hospital, he did participate in physical therapy and ceased deliveries, instead focusing exclusively on office work. However, he could not shake the pain and more than three months after his accident, made an appointment with a shoulder specialist.

Albert, who, at this point, could not hold his arm out straight, saw Dr. Robert McLaughlin at Beverly Hospital in early January 2009. An MRI revealed there was a large tear in the tendon surrounding his right shoulder and in late February 2009, he underwent an arthroscopic procedure to repair the damage. He took several weeks off to begin rehabilitation and in mid April he returned to work. Little did he know that things were about to get a lot worse.

During physical therapy in early July, Albert was using 5-pound weights when he re-tore the tendon which left him in more pain than he had ever felt. After realizing that the tendon would not heal on its own, he returned to Dr. McLaughlin who confirmed that although additional surgery was required, he was going to take a different approach. In August, Dr. McLaughlin implanted Wright’s GRAFTJACKET Regenerative Tissue Matrix, a three-dimensional biologic scaffold which allows cell repopulation through the body’s natural healing process.

Think of GRAFTJACKET Matrix as the steel scaffolding of a new building. The three-dimensional structure provides the body with an opportunity to rebuild the area of missing tissue. After implantation, the body’s natural repair process revascularizes and repopulates the GRAFTJACKET matrix with cells. This allows the body to convert the matrix into host tissue which, in this case, reconnected Albert’s tendon with his shoulder.

After this procedure, Albert rehabilitated at a slower pace. For three months he engaged in passive physical therapy where he did not lift weights. The following January he began to lift weights again and returned to work. Today, Albert is on-track to be back on the golf course in April. He says, “If it weren’t for my second surgery, I might not have been able to ever return to work and I certainly would not be thinking about playing golf again. I’m thrilled to start living my life again!”

Wright Medical’s GRAFTJACKET Regenerative Tissue Matrix is intended to reinforce the rotator cuff tendon repairs. GRAFTJACKET is made from donated human skin, which undergoes a process that removes the epidermis and dermal cells. This process allows the body to accept the matrix and reduces the rejection response. The processing steps sufficiently preserve the human dermal tissue, including its native protein, collagen structure, blood vessel channels and essential biochemical composition, to allow cellular repopulation and revascularization through the body’s natural healing process. This means that the body can use GRAFTJACKET Matrix as it repairs itself.

These results are specific to this individual only. Individual results and activity levels after surgery vary and depend on many factors including age, weight and prior activity level. There are risks and recovery times associated with surgery and there are certain individuals who should not undergo surgery.
Only a physician can tell you if this product and associated procedure are right for you and your unique circumstances. Please consult with a physician for complete information regarding benefits, risks and possible outcomes.