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New Canaan Doctor Co-Authors Textbook On Rotator Cuff Tears

Dr. Edward Craig
Dr. Edward Craig Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Rotator cuff injuries, the bane of baseball pitchers everywhere and the injury that ended Mark "The Bird" Fidrych's career, is the focus of a book by a New Canaan doctor

Dr. Edward Craig, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery Physician Office in Greenwich, has co-authored a textbook on large rotator cuff tears, a common shoulder injury.

Craig, who also practices in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, says he co-authored the book with his colleague, Dr. Lawrence Gulotta, to provide a guide for other physicians on best practices for this challenging injury.

“Rotator cuff injury is the most common cause of shoulder pain, and rotator cuff repair is the most common shoulder operation in the world,” Craig said. “As the population ages, and individuals wish to remain active, we are seeing more and more patients with very large, or massive, rotator cuff tears. These tears can be very difficult, if not impossible, to fix.

"We wanted to provide health care professionals with a textbook that could guide them through all of the treatment options.”

The 163-page book, titled, “Massive Rotator Cuff Tears: Diagnosis and Management,” presents a comprehensive approach to treating a patient with a large rotator cuff tear.

“While other books have been written on this injury, this is the first textbook to focus on the treatment of very large tears,” said Criag. “It covers everything from nonoperative management, to minimally invasive surgery, to shoulder replacement for severe cases.”

The rotator cuff is the group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint. A torn rotator cuff can cause significant pain and make it difficult to lift one’s arm. Everyday activities such as combing one’s hair or putting on a coat can present a challenge.

Craig, who has written or edited eight other textbooks, designed a rotator cuff surgical repair system. He also co-designed a type of shoulder replacement called the reverse shoulder replacement. It is the most widely used technique in the U.S. for people who have both a rotator cuff tear and severe arthritis in their shoulder. In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.

In 2009, he was named the Wholeness of Life Honoree by the Hospital for Special Surgery Pastoral Care Committee and The HealthCare Chaplaincy. This prestigious award is given annually to a member of the hospital staff who has made a significant contribution to the quality of patient care by understanding and responding to the needs of the whole person in body, mind and spirit.

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