Innovative Joint Preservation Surgery Allows Athletes To Stay Active

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Do you suffer from joint pain and arthritis? You are not alone! According to the CDC, more than 54 million Americans experience some form of joint pain caused by arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common form.

When standard osteoarthritis treatments including anti-inflammatorymedications and injections fail to relieve pain, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a surgical procedure as the next step in repairing a badly damaged joint. 

Chip Taylor’s orthopedic surgeon recommended a traditional, total shoulder replacement when his joint pain returned five years after he tore his shoulder labrum. According to the doctor, the best-case scenario for Chip following surgery would have been only a 45-degree range of motion in his shoulder (a normal shoulder has a range of 180 degrees). Moreover, he told Chip he would never be able to lift more than 50 pounds to his chest or 25 pounds over his head. But Chip refused to accept this fate. As a gym owner and timber farmer, staying active is an important part of Chip’s lifestyle, so he was determined to find a better option that could allow him to maintain full range of motion.

His internet research eventually brought him to Arthrosurface, which was later acquired by Anika Therapeutics. The company’s anatomic, stemless, OVOMotion® with Inlay Glenoid Total Shoulder System is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional, total shoulder replacement. Why? It preserves much of the patient’s own joint structures, removes minimal bone and recreates the native anatomy of the shoulder joint. This joint preservation system is an ideal alternative to traditional total joint replacements and is increasing in popularity amongst surgeons and patients. With this in mind, Chip sought out a second opinion from Dr. Tyler Marshall who determined this implant was the right option for Chip and his active lifestyle. 

The morning after his surgery, Chip had virtually no pain. When his sling came off six weeks later, he began physical therapy to rebuild his strength and flexibility. The true test of his recovery arrived during planting season at the farm when he needed to fill his seeding machine with 50-pound sacks of seed. He did it with ease and is also back to doing bar muscle-ups, a move that is very demanding on the shoulders. Chip is thankful he found a joint preservation system that’s enabled him to continue living an active lifestyle.

“I’m thankful for the development of this system that’s enabled me to continue to lift weights and swim competitively,” said Chip. “I can do all my farm work and shoot my bow. It literally has saved my life.”

Watch his journey below.

Joint preservation surgery and implants provide a minimally invasive alternative with fast recovery times, increased range of motion, reduced hospital stays and little to no activity restrictions. During this type of procedure, bone is preserved while the diseased joint surface (damaged area) is replaced to restore native anatomy. These anatomic implants are available for the shoulder, knee, wrist, and toe. In addition to the benefits listed above, joint preservation also offers shorter operative time, a lower risk of periprosthetic fracture and bone and motion preservation. 

To see more stories like Chip’s and learn more about joint preservation systems, check out the Arthrosurface Patient Stories page. You can also find a doctor specializing in joint preservation here.

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