Shoulder replacement began its progressive journey in the early 1970s when implants were rudimentary and physicians and engineers had not yet fully learned modes of success and failure. Fast forward nearly 50 years and shoulder replacement has drastically increased in volume several hundred percent even over the past 2 decades. The reason for this is partly because of the increased presentation of younger patients with terminal osteoarthritis from trauma, prior surgery or heavy repetitive use such as body building. As patients have changed in terms of their age and activity level over the years, their expectations for improved comfort and function after shoulder replacement have placed an increasing burden on industry to provide solutions that enable surgeons to more reproducibly deliver on this demand.
Advancements in implant design between the 1990s and early 2000s focused on increasing modularity between the humeral shaft and humeral head. Implants were designed to try to replicate normal anatomy as defined by anatomic studies. Subsequent studies showed that many implants failed to replicate the center of rotation of the ball and socket joint accurately and that failure to reestablish normal anatomy may be linked to more premature failure. Currently, for many patients with shoulder replacements, return to full activity carries some risk of earlier failure of the implant due to these persistent non-anatomic issues. One common issue with shoulder implants is that most systems offer a spherical humeral head while the native head is not spherical but elliptical.
Catalyst is a shoulder implant that acts like a humeral resurfacing procedure. Rather than resect the humeral head and replace it completely, the Catalyst shoulder better restores the elliptical anatomy of shoulders with its unique design that resurfaces the joint rather than completely replacing the anatomy. Catalyst may represent a breakthrough in shoulder replacement implant technology to raise the bar on functional outcomes for appropriate candidates who have good bone stock.
Dr. Parsons is the first surgeon in NH to offer the Catalyst implant for appropriate patients with osteoarthritis. This can be performed as an anatomic shoulder replacement, reverse shoulder replacement or Ream and Run Surgery. If you are a patient with osteoarthritis who has failed conservative measures and is considering shoulder replacement, this may be an option to improve your outcomes. Come to see us to further evaluate your situation.
Dr. Parsons is a member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, a founding member of the New England Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, a recipient of the Charles Neer, MD award for excellence in clinical research on shoulder surgery. He was the first surgeon in NH to perform a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty and consults with implants companies on implant design, surgeon education and surgical navigation in shoulder replacement. He has performed over 1200 shoulder replacements in his career.