Watch Dr. Kovack Discuss Alternative Options to Shoulder Replacement

Thomas Kovack, DO is a board certified and fellowship trained Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in shoulder, elbow, and knee surgeries. Dr. Kovack has joined Hand and Microsurgery Associates and the Hand Center as of January 1, 2016. Recently, he has developed a system to perform total joint replacement as an outpatient or same day surgery as opposed to a hospital stay of one to three days. This has lead to faster patient recovery, decreased complications, decreased costs and higher patient satisfaction. He has been performing partial and total shoulder replacement, reverse shoulder replacement, shoulder resurfacing, partial and total knee replacement, and knee resurfacing as same day or outpatient surgery. He has been extensively trained in the most recent technologies and is one of the most talented surgeons in the country who is able to perform the most advanced procedures. He specializes in techniques that allow for minimally invasive surgery as well as bone preservation. He also excels in cartilage restoration procedures and performs surgeries and techniques that are “alternatives” to conventional shoulder replacement for younger patients and highly active older patients with advanced shoulder arthritis such as “shoulder resurfacing” and “arthroscopic biologic shoulder replacement.” He also performs the reverse total shoulder replacement as well as a conventional total shoulder replacement. Dr. Kovack is also one of the first surgeons in the country to perform a minimally invasive Arthroscopic Biologic Total Shoulder Resurfacing. Dr. Kovack is able to perform arthroscopic surgery when most surgeons are still using larger open incisions to perform shoulder and elbow surgery. An example of this is with massive rotator cuff tears that Dr. Kovack repairs arthroscopically. He can repair even the largest tears or “massive” tears with arthroscopic, minimally invasive techniques.

Dr. Kovack has also recently been among some of the first surgeons in the country to perform an all arthroscopic Latarjet procedure that involves a transfer of bone and tendon in the shoulder for instability. This surgery has typically been performed as an open procedure with a larger incision. Early results have been very good and equivalent to the open procedure. He also uses these minimally invasive techniques in the elbow and knee as well. Dr. Kovack performs elbow and knee arthroscopy, ligament repair and reconstruction such as Tommy John’s surgery, ACL reconstruction and repair, meniscal surgery, elbow replacement, partial and total knee replacement, knee resurfacing and minimally invasive techniques to treat younger patients with elbow and knee arthritis. Dr. Kovack is actively involved in the advancement of orthopedic technology and previously performed the very first in the world patient specific guide for conventional total shoulder replacement using the Match Point system by DJO.

He has done consulting throughout his career with various companies to help educate, teach, and advance orthopedic shoulder, elbow and knee surgery. He has and is still engaged in teaching other surgeons advanced surgical skills and procedures in shoulder, elbow and knee surgery.

As a leading educational resource on Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement, Dr. Kovack is an instructor and was a resident trainer in Columbus, Ohio and he has been featured on WBNS-10TV as an expert on this subject. You can see the video here.

Dr. Kovack originates from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh. He then went to Kansas City, Missouri for medical school attending the University of Kansas City School of Medicine and Biosciences where he was a member of the honors fraternity Sigma Sigma Phi for achieving the top 10 percent of his class. He also worked with the Kansas City Chiefs football team for a short time while in Missouri. From there, he completed his internship and orthopedic residency in Columbus, Ohio, through Ohio University at Doctor’s Hospital. Dr. Kovack then went to Tampa, Florida, to complete a sub-specialty fellowship in advanced shoulder and elbow surgery with the Florida Orthopedic Institute at Tampa General Hospital.

Florida Orthopedic Institute currently serves as the orthopedic surgeons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL football team and are also orthopedic resident trainers with the University of South Florida (USF). Dr. Kovack relocated from Florida to Columbus, Ohio, in 2007 to join OhioHeath Orthopedic Surgeons, where he was employed until recently. Dr. Kovack has joined Hand and Microsurgery Associates and the Hand Center as of January 1, 2016. He now practices in Polaris next to the Polaris mall at the Hand Center. Hand and Microsurgery Associates is now the only orthopedic practice in central Ohio that has board certified fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons that are dedicated to surgery of the entire upper extremity from the hand to the shoulder.

Dr. Kovack is married with three children. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as sports related activity. He still hits the gym at least three days a week and tries to live a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Kovack used to be a personal trainer and also a competitive bodybuilder. He believes his past experiences with health, sports, and nutrition helps him with treating his patients and their orthopedic conditions.



Florida Orthopaedic Institute (2007)

Tampa General Hospital

Tampa, Florida

Shoulder and Elbow Surgery


Ohio University (2006)

Doctors Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Orthopaedic Surgery


Ohio University (2002)

Doctors Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Traditional Rotating

Doctor of Osteopathy:

The Kansas City University of Medicine

and Biosciences (2001)

Kansas City, Missouri

Bachelors of Science:

University of Pittsburgh (1996)

Greensburg, Pennsylvania


Dr. Kovack specializes in:

Arthroscopic Biologic Total Shoulder Replacement

Arthroscopic Latarjet Procedure

Shoulder & Elbow Resurfacing

Total Shoulder Replacement

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Elbow Ligament Reconstruction & Repair

Arthroscopic Shoulder & Elbow Surgery

Elbow Replacement

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

Dislocation/Instability Surgery

Cartilage Transplant & Repair Surgery

Frozen Shoulder Surgery

Reconstructive Surgery

Tendon Transfers

Complex Fracture Surgery

Deformity Correction

Publications (Recent)

Kovack TJ, Long A, Techniques in Shoulder & Elbow Surgery – Arthroscopic Biological Total Shoulder Resurfacing: An Alternative Surgical Technique and Treatment Option for Arthritic Shoulder Pain in Young to Middle-aged Adults – Volume 19, Number 1, March 2018

Kovack TJ, Idoine JD, Jacob PB, Proximal Biceps Tenodesis: An Anatomic Study and Comparison of the Accuracy of Arthroscopic and Open Techniques Using Interference Screws – Published Online February 21, 2014. Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

Kovack TJ, Jacob PB, Mighell MA, Elbow Arthrodesis – A Novel Technique. Orthopedics. May 2014. Volume 37, Issue 5: 313-319.

Mighell M, Kovack T, “Elbow Arthrodesis”. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, Edited by Williams, G., Ramsey, M..Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins 2007. Chapter 49, pp. 3462-3466.