Bone and Joint Specialists E-Newsletter Archive
Minimally Invasive Total Shoulder Replacement
by Dr. Richard Bartholomew
Every year, thousands of shoulder replacements are performed in the United States to help alleviate pain and restore arm and muscle function. Traditionally a total shoulder replacement has been done in the presence of an intact rotator cuff. This involves removing the entire humeral head and placing a long metal stem into the humeral shaft (fig 1a).
For patients who have arthritis with an intact rotator cuff or a small reparable rotator cuff tear, the standard shoulder replacement surgery works well. However, in the properly selected patient, the new TESS shoulder is a lot less invasive with excellent outcomes.
TESS total shoulder arthroplasty removes minimal amounts of bone, and places a smooth high carbide cobalt chrome metal humeral head with a small hydroxyapatite coated lattice replacing the diseased humeral head. This removes minimal amounts of bone compared to the traditional long metal stem of the humeral component (fig 1b), and allows for a smooth articulation with the glenoid. This is done with minimal incision surgery.
After the surgery
Following surgery, patients immediately start physical therapy by doing simple stretches to get used to their new shoulder. This also allows the tissue in the shoulder to heal and the pain to decrease. Patients begin restoring passive motion during the first four to six weeks after surgery. After that, they begin strengthening the muscles.
We are seeing great results with this procedure, with range of motion, pain relief and quicker recovery times.
Dr. Bartholomew treats painful shoulder conditions such as bursitis, tendonitis, calcium deposition, advanced arthritis, rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulder.
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