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Exploring All Shoulder Surgery Options

When you have a shoulder injury, or even a condition which hinders your movement like glenohumeral arthritis, it can be difficult to go through your day-to-day activities as you once did.

No matter your age, activity level, or health, having limited range of motion and pain in your shoulder can be frustrating and at times demoralizing.

If and when this happens to you, you shouldn’t let it get you down. That’s because nowadays, there are several different options available to get you back to health and provide you with the full range of motion and ability to have the strength you once exhibited.

Most doctors will recommend a total shoulder replacement for most of these joint-related cases, such as with glenohumeral arthritis. However, while this procedure might be right for some, it might not even be completely necessary for others.

When you are facing shoulder surgery, or even total shoulder replacement, you deserve to speak with a doctor who will help you explore all of the available shoulder surgery and replacement options.

In Ohio, there’s only one name you can trust for such matters: the Columbus Shoulder Doc. Dr. Thomas Kovack is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who is apt at evaluating each situation on a case-by-case basis in order to determine the proper course of action. Whether it be a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure, an arthroscopic biologic shoulder replacement, outpatient partial or total shoulder replacement, or even a partial or total shoulder resurfacing procedure, Dr. Kovack is widely regarded as the top shoulder specialist in Columbus, and he can get the job done with his minimally invasive arthroscopic strategies.

But what’s more, he will talk with you first in order to determine which procedure is right for you and your situation, taking into account all of the relevant factors such as your age, activity level, and the overall health of your shoulder. When facing shoulder surgery or complete replacement, you’re only doing yourself a disservice if you don’t explore all of the available options.


First of all, we need to understand who might be a candidate for shoulder surgery, or even a shoulder replacement. There are several factors to consider, and you should always consult with your physician and an orthopedic surgeon before electing for any procedure.

Some common denominators between patients who require shoulder replacement include:


Total shoulder arthroplasty, or TSA, is the most common type of total shoulder replacement. This procedure typically involves replacing the damaged parts of a shoulder, such as the ball or socket, with artificial components made of metal or plastic.

TSA is most doctors’ go-to method for elderly patients dealing with arthritis and various other ailments, in which case it is usually called for.

However, some doctors also recommend this procedure to even younger, more active patients. This type of invasive procedure is not necessary for everyone. In fact, it can even leave patients with restricted motion and limits on activity even well after a full recovery.

In other cases a total shoulder arthroplasty procedure may fail altogether, likely because the implants become unstable or loosened, they are worn quickly, or because of an infection. This then warrants another invasive surgery, and can be a major setback for those with active lifestyles.


This innovative, lesser-known procedure has been making a splash of late as a more effective and practical alternative to TSA in many cases.

The top shoulder specialist in Columbus, Dr. Kovack, has implemented and perfected these procedures into his practice as a viable arthroscopic or open alternative to an otherwise invasive and painstaking shoulder replacement.

For younger patients, or even those middle-aged or elderly patients who live a more active lifestyle but are battling arthritis, total shoulder resurfacing offers many benefits. Namely, shoulder resurfacing allows the natural bones to remain intact, which means a less exhaustive healing process.

Furthermore, total shoulder resurfacing is an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to return home that same day and begin working toward full range of motion soon after. A full recovery with no restrictions is typically estimated to be between eight and 12 weeks.

How does it work? It’s quite simple, actually.

First, with the biologic replacement or resurfacing the torn/worn cartilage within the patient’s shoulder is replaced by healthy cartilage from a donor. This replacement cartilage replaces the metal or plastic parts that are typically inserted during a total shoulder replacement. Some people are not good candidates for the arthroscopic biologic shoulder resurfacing who have too severe arthritis, deformity, bone loss, ect.. The next best minimally invasive option would be a total shoulder resurfacing with a small metal cap on the ball side and a small inset poly or plastic on the socket side. This option is still outpatient surgery and patients will still have no restrictions in activity after full recovery!

Because only a minimum amount of bone is removed during the process, the option for a revision or total replacement is still available, if necessary.

The arthroscopic procedure leaves behind minimal scars and zero structural damage, as it does not require the surgeon to cut through any of the rotator cuff muscles.

Resurfacing is a more feasible option than replacement for athletes, active people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s, and older highly active patients. Not to mention, when you trust the top shoulder specialist in Columbus to handle your resurfacing needs, you get peace of mind in knowing the procedure will be handled with precision and care.

So, if and when the time comes, be sure that you explore all of your available options and get the right shoulder procedure for your needs. Whether it be an arthroscopic biologic total shoulder resurfacing, partial or total shoulder resurfacing, conventional total shoulder replacement or a reverse total shoulder replacement, our doctor will recommend what’s best for you and your future.

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