Joyce’s Story

Joyce, GRAFTJACKET™ Regenerative Tissue Matrix Recipient
Joyce, a 71-year-old resident of Spring, Texas, considers herself a woman on-the-go. Between her position as Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay, crafting activities and volunteering at the local church, Joyce has little downtime and that’s the way she prefers it. However, after a freak accident almost three years ago, Joyce feared that she may have to make some unwanted adjustments to her busy lifestyle.

In August 2008, Joyce came home from a long day and decided to unwind by taking a bath. When she stepped into the tub, her foot started to slip and she crashed into the wall. At the time, the relief from avoiding a dangerous fall distracted Joyce from the awkward way her right shoulder impacted the wall. However, shortly after, the pain in her shoulder couldn’t be ignored.

Within one week, any movement of her right arm resulted in agonizing pain and Joyce scheduled a visit to her primary care physician to diagnose the cause. After an MRI showed that she had a torn rotator cuff, Joyce was referred to Dr. Keith Johnson, an orthopedic surgeon in The Woodlands, Texas, for surgery to repair the tear. After the operation in September 2008, Joyce was hopeful that she could soon return to her active life.

Joyce’s rehabilitation was progressing on schedule until November of that year, when during one of her physical therapy sessions, she re-tore her rotator cuff and found herself with the same excruciating pain she experienced months prior. Fearing this may become a permanent problem in her life, Joyce returned to Dr. Johnson and learned she would need another procedure.

In December 2008, Joyce went back under the knife. This time, Dr. Johnson reinforced the repair with GRAFTJACKET Regenerative Tissue Matrix. GRAFTJACKET is an acellular dermal scaffold which allows cell repopulation through the body’s natural healing process. After implantation, the body revascularizes and repopulates the GRAFTJACKET matrix with cells. Essentially, in time, the matrix transitions into host tissue.

Following the procedure, Joyce proceeded with rehabilitation cautiously but worked to regain her strength daily through exercises and specialized technology to slowly improve her range of motion. Within six weeks, Joyce was able to do some of the day-to-day things that just months ago had been next to impossible. She was once again able to curl her hair in preparation for a business meeting or wave hello to a fellow volunteer.

Today, thanks to her procedure, Joyce has regained the active lifestyle she loves. “I’m so thankful that GRAFTJACKET was available, as it was really my only option to get my life back,” she says. “Some people are content to just pull up a chair and sit on the sidelines—that will never be me.”

Surgical techniques for repair of rotator cuff tears have improved dramatically in the last decade.
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 biochemical components, to allow cellular repopulation and revascularization by the body. This means that the body can use GRAFTJACKET Matrix as a scaffold for repair.
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.