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CONTACT US
Reuben Gobezie, M.D.
Director, Cleveland Shoulder Institute University Hospitals of Cleveland

Fellowship Director, Cleveland Akron Shoulder & Elbow Fellowship (CASE)

Head, Cartilage Transplant Center of Cleveland


Phone Numbers
Appointments: (216) 844-7200
Office Number: (440) 995-2767
Fax Number: (440) 995-2680
Email: Reuben.Gobezie@UHhospitals.org

Office Locations
UH Ahuja Medical Center
3999 Richmond Road
Beachwood, OH 44122
Office Number: (440) 995-2767
Fax Number: (440) 995-2680
Directions To Our Office

5885 Landerbrook Drive, Monarch Center
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
Office Number: (440) 995-2767
Fax Number: (440) 995-2680
Directions To Our Office

St. John Westshore Medical Center
29000 Center Ridge Road
Cleveland, OH 44145
Office Number: (440) 995-2767
Fax Number: (440) 995-2680
Directions To Our Office

University Hospitals
Westlake Campus
960 Clague Road
Westlake, OH
Directions To Our Office

8819 Commons Boulevard
Twinsburg, OH 44087
Office Number: (440) 995-2767
Fax Number: (440) 995-2680
Directions To Our Office

University Hospitals Mentor
9000 Mentor Ave
Mentor, OH
Directions To Our Office

UH Richmond Medical Center
27100 Chardon Rd
Richmond Hts, OH 44143
Office Number: (440) 995-2767
Fax Number: (440) 995-2680
Directions To Our Office



Cleveland Scapular Winging
Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Arthroscopic Biologic Total Shoulder Resurfacing


The arthroscopic biologic total shoulder replacement is a new procedure that I have been working on for more than two years in partnership with my colleagues at Arthrex, Inc. The procedure is designed to resurface, a term used in orthopaedics to commonly refer to ‘replace’, the warn cartilage of the shoulder joint with transplanted donor cartilage and bone. In order to understand the rationale for developing this new procedure, it’s important to consider what is currently done to treat end-stage or late osteoarthritis of the shoulder.

The hallmarks of symptomatic osteoarthritis in the shoulder, as with other joints, are pain and stiffness. Patients who have a painful stiff shoulder usually try conservative treatments in the form of oral anti-inflammatories, activity modification, or physical therapy among other modalities. Once conservative measures to relieve pain and/or increase function have failed, which will typically occur over time as part of the natural history of this disorder, operative intervention may be indicated. Typical operative treatments employed for arthritis in the shoulder include arthroscopic debridement with or without chondroplasty and capsular release, partial shoulder replacement, or total shoulder replacement. The outcomes for arthroscopic debridement and chondroplasty as well as other experimental procedures are unpredictable according to several studies reported in the literature. The most reliable operative interventions for the treatment of symptomatic late osteoarthritis have been reported with total shoulder replacement or partial shoulder replacements (hemiarthroplasty). These partial or total shoulder replacements involve removing a substantial part of the ball (proximal humerus) and/or socket (glenoid) bone and replacing the bone with metal and/or plastic. There is significant long-term outcomes data for these procedures demonstrating reliable pain relief and improved function for most patients.

The arthroscopic biological total shoulder replacement possesses three potential advantages as a resurfacing procedure over total or partial shoulder replacements with metal and/or plastic parts. First, the procedure is done arthroscopically as an outpatient procedure. Second, unlike conventional total or partial shoulder replacement, the arthroscopic total shoulder replacement does not cut through any of the rotator cuff muscles in order to gain access to the shoulder joint in order to perform the replacement. Rather, the arthroscopic technique works between the muscles of the rotator cuff, in a space called the rotator interval, without violating or injuring any of the rotator cuff muscles. Violation of the rotator cuff as part of performing a total shoulder replacement has been reported as a significant source of complications with this procedure. Third, one of the primary goals of the arthroscopic biologic shoulder replacement is to replace the worn cartilage of osteoarthritis with transplanted ‘healthy’ cartilage from a cadaver donor rather than synthetic metal and/or plastic as with a conventional partial or total shoulder replacement. Hence, the fact that I am replacing worn cartilage with a biologic material, cadaveric cartilage-bone transplants, is the rationale for the use of the word ‘biologic’ in describing the replacement. The use of cartilage-bone transplants has been employed in numerous orthopaedic procedures with good results in both the shoulder and the knee. The use of cartilage transplantation on the socket (glenoid) of the shoulder is relatively new. However, the use of cartilage-bone cadaver transplants on the ball (humerus) of the shoulder joint has been performed with good results reported. If the arthroscopic biologic total shoulder replacement is able to demonstrate successful durability and wear over time, then I believe it would represent a significant advance in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder. Finally, the arthroscopic biologic total shoulder replacement removes a minimal amount of bone that makes revision to conventional total shoulder replacement or arthroscopic revision with another graft technically feasible without ‘burning any bridges’.

The arthroscopic biologic total shoulder replacement is a new procedure and does not have long-term outcomes data demonstrating its efficacy. The main risk for this procedure is that the cartilage-bone transplant may not incorporate, or ‘take’, in a given patient’s shoulder joint. If this problem occurs, a patient who has this procedure may require a second operation, likely a total shoulder replacement with metal and plastic parts, in order to definitely treat the arthritis in the shoulder. I am in the process of organizing a clinical study currently to evaluate this procedure’s efficacy.

In conclusion, the arthroscopic biologic total shoulder replacement is a new and innovative procedure aimed at treating symptomatic late-stage osteoarthritis using cadaver cartilage-bone transplants to replace worn cartilage in the shoulder using an all-arthroscopic outpatient minimally invasive technique that does not violate the rotator cuff. I am performing this procedure on select patients in order to understand whether or not this procedure can successfully treat patients with osteoarthritis of the shoulder by restoring shoulder function and relieving arthritis pain. In my opinion, if this procedure successfully treats osteoarthritis, then it will represent a major advance in the treatment of shoulder arthritis.

A New Approach To Treating Younger Patients with Shoulder Osteoarthritis - Arthroscopic Biologic Total Shoulder Replacement

All-Arthroscopic Biologic Total Shoulder Resurfacing

I am a paid consultant for Arthrex, Inc., and receive monetary compensation related to this procedure.


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