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Too Young for a Shoulder Replacement? Total Shoulder Resurfacing (TSR) May be a Less Invasive Soluti

Too Young for a Shoulder Replacement? Total Shoulder Resurfacing (TSR) May be a Less Invasive Solution

When chronic shoulder pain strikes, many patients worry that shoulder replacement might be their only option. This apprehensiveness is understandable, given the invasiveness of traditional shoulder replacement surgery and the implications for future activity levels. 

Here at Advantage Orthopedics, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Thomas J Kovack, DO, specializes in shoulder, elbow, and knee surgery, and offers an alternative to total shoulder replacement. For patients who are younger or older patients that lead active lifestyles, total shoulder resurfacing (TSR) is an effective alternative to total shoulder replacement.

TSR involves replacing the arthritic humeral head or ball, (top of the arm bone) with a hemispheric metal cap and placing in a plastic socket inside the glenoid replacing the arthritis instead of removing all the bone and completely replacing the ball and socket of the joint. This is a less invasive option that preserves more of the shoulder's natural structure. TSR can provide pain relief without the extended downtime typical with a total shoulder replacement. 

Benefits of total shoulder resurfacing

TSR is designed for patients who are dealing with arthritis or other destructive shoulder conditions but whose bones are still largely intact. Unlike total shoulder replacement, which involves removing the top part of the arm bone or cutting off the “ball” and replacing it with a metal implant and removing some of the socket and replacing it with a large plastic component that sits on top of the bone, TSR involves covering only the damaged surfaces of the bone with a cap-like prosthesis on the ball and a small plastic prosthesis that sits inside the socket.

This technique preserves the majority of the bone, blood supply and the shoulder's natural anatomy, which is very beneficial for younger and highly active older active patients.

Bone preservation

TSR preserves bone, which is a major benefit for younger patients who may need future procedures as they age. Preserving more bone makes future interventions less complicated and helps maintain more natural shoulder function for longer. Patients commonly say after the procedure that their shoulder feels “natural”. 

Reduced recovery time

Patients who undergo TSR typically experience a faster and less painful recovery compared to those who have a total shoulder replacement. Since the procedure is less invasive, you can return to your normal activities more quickly.

Improved range of motion

Because TSR retains more of the shoulder's natural mechanics, you often achieve a better range of motion after surgery. This is beneficial when patients want to continue engaging in sports or physically demanding activities.

Ideal candidates for TSR

TSR isn’t an appropriate option for everyone. The ideal candidates are typically younger or active older patients who don’t have extensive bone damage, an intact rotator cuff and no significant deformity. 

It's also an excellent option for if you’re active and wish to maintain a high level of physical activity after surgery. 

Making the right choice

Choosing the right shoulder intervention is crucial. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain and are interested in finding out if TSR might be an option for you, the first step is consulting with Dr. Kovack.

During your personalized consultation, Dr. Kovack will evaluate your case, discuss potential solutions, and help you make an informed decision about your shoulder care. 

Contact us today to learn more about TSR and whether it might be the right solution for your shoulder issues. With the right approach, you can return to your favorite activities with minimal disruption.

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