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Know Your Options: Alternatives to Traditional Shoulder Replacement

Most patients have heard of total shoulder replacement and are somewhat familiar with the traditional version of shoulder replacement. Conventional shoulder replacement involves an invasive surgery in which a metal humeral implant with a stem and ball and a plastic socket or cup that will be cemented in are employed. This surgery has been used for a long time and generally provides a longevity of 15-20 years. These conventional shoulder replacements are usually performed on patients who are older than 60 years and have suffered from severe glenohumeral arthritis. Because it is an invasive surgery it is usually only considered for those for whom conservative care has failed.


Although traditional shoulder replacement has been effective for many patients over the years, the struggle has always been for younger patients and patients over 60 years of age that are still extremely active. With conventional shoulder replacement a lot of bone must be taken or resected. This leads to problems for younger patients because when these patients face the need for another surgery down the road when their replacement has worn out, they will have less bone available for the new surgery. This becomes increasingly problematic as they age because they may reach the point at which replacement surgery is no longer possible.

Not only do they face this issue, but patients with higher activity levels can loosen the conventional cemented component of their shoulder replacement. This means that revision surgeries will have less effective results than the original replacement.

This is where alternatives to shoulder replacement comes into play. Currently there are three options we can discuss with you if you are seeking an alternative. These three options are the following:

Although alternatives to shoulder replacement are newer procedures, they are showing promising short-term results. We can discuss any of these techniques with you and assess if you would be the right candidate for an alternative. These alternatives to shoulder replacement are usually recommended for younger patients and patients with a high level of activity.


If you are in the process of seeking a solution for your shoulder pain, please contact us. Dr. Kovak can discuss the options that are available to you during a consultation. Although it can feel overwhelming and confusing to determine what the best course of action is in regards to shoulder surgery, there are solutions for all patient types. When you set up a consultation with Dr. Kovak you will be afforded the chance to learn about what alternatives to shoulder replacement in Ohio are available. Because no two patients are exactly the same, your solutions will be tailored to meet you and your needs.

You can contact our office by calling us at 614-930-6489. We provide our patients with excellent service and we will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have. We understand how stressful facing shoulder pain can be and we truly want to see you go forward with less pain and more mobility. Call today!

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