Dr. Bailie, in conjunction with Todd Ellenbecker, PT, are finalizing their data for publication on Dr. Bailie’s cases of resurfacing arthroplasty of the shoulder. Dr. Bailie has been a worldwide leader in this area of shoulder surgery since the device was FDA approved for use in the US in 2001. Given Dr. Bailie’s extensive experience in both shoulder surgery and sports medicine, Biomet, the manufacturer of the Copeland Resurfacing device, approached Dr. Bailie in 2001 as a consultant to investigate the benefits of this device in treating arthritis of the shoulder in active patients. Dr. Bailie has collaborated on research with Todd Ellenbecker, PT of Physiotherapy Associates in Scottsdale for decades and Todd is his preferred therapist for complex shoulder problems and arthroplasty. Together, they published an initial series in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery on resurfacing shoulder replacement in younger active patients. This was minimum 2 year followup and the largest series of this age group in the world at the time.

They now have over 15 years of experience and have had patients travel from around the world for Dr. Bailie to perform this surgery with excellent results. Many of his patients have sought other opinions, both prior to and after meeting with Dr. Bailie, only to be told that they need a total shoulder replacement or “stemmed” partial replacement and that resurfacing devices do not work. In fact, one of his patients requested the resurfacing procedure from a prominent midwestern shoulder surgeon at a major medical center only to be told it was not an option. The surgeon did not realize the patient had successfully had the opposite shoulder resurfaced by Dr. Bailie 7 years prior, with continued excellent results. So, the patient flew to Arizona and had the procedure, paying out-of-pocket since his insurance would only cover a physician within his midwest network. The patient had the same result on this shoulder and was functional and pain-free and enjoying life again within 6 months. As the procedure requires much more attention to detail and advanced surgical technique than total shoulder replacement, many surgeons have shied away from it after not experiencing predictable results in their patients. Dr. Bailie perfected the technique and has taught it to many surgeons worldwide over the years. He has found that it requires much more surgical precision and expertise for proper placement than in standard replacement surgeries.

This current project includes the largest series with medium to long term followup known in the English language literature of resurfacing shoulder replacement in younger (less than 55 years old) active patients. The mean age at surgery was 52 years old and minimum followup of over 5 years. Although a few patients required conversion to total shoulder (less than 2%) the good results experienced in the original series appear to last beyond what was initially expected. In fact, some patients continue to enjoy pain relief nearly 15 years after their procedure and are able to enjoy sports such as martial arts, cycling, soccer, power lifting, rugby, golf and tennis. Unlike with total shoulder replacement, activities do not appear to  require restrictions in order to “protect the implant”. Look for this research published over the next few years as it goes through the peer review process.

For more information on resurfacing arthroplasty of the shoulder, please visit the Outcomes and Research section of Dr. Bailie’s website. You may also email him at info@azisks.com.