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Total Shoulder Replacement

The first shoulder replacement surgeries were performed in the United States during the 1950s. At that time, joint replacement was used as a treatment for severe shoulder fractures. But over the years, this surgery has come to be used for many other painful conditions of the shoulder, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • A combination of severe arthritis and a massive non-reparable rotator cuff tendon tear

Shoulder Anatomy and Proper Function

In a healthy shoulder joint, the rounded end of the upper arm glides against the small dish-like socket in the shoulder blade.

However, due to the mobility of the shoulder joint, loss of cartilage and mechanical deterioration can cause serious loss of mobility. This can result in joint pain and swelling, joint stiffness, and many other joint symptoms. These symptoms may be caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • Bone spurs
  • Flattening in the shape of the bones
  • Loose pieces of bone and cartilage floating inside the joint
  • Wearing away of the shoulder bones in severe cases

Joint Replacement Surgery to Treat Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is probably the most common reason to undergo shoulder replacement surgery. Over time with osteoarthritis, the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful. And unfortunately there is no way to prevent the development of osteoarthritis.

Severe Joint Fracture

When the shoulder joint is severely injured, it becomes difficult to heal properly, particularly when the head of the upper arm is shattered. In this instance, the blood supply to the bone is interrupted causing cell death or avascular necrosis. Surgeons often recommend a total shoulder replacement, particularly in older patients with osteoporosis.

To learn more about these procedures, call 678-312-5000.