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Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery is a procedure for treating severe pain and stiffness of the shoulder joint. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain and restore function and strength.

Conditions which contribute to shoulder pain and disability include:

  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumic arthritis
  • Severe shoulder fractures

Patients should consider shoulder replacement surgery when extreme pain prevents them from doing simple daily activities and they have failed to respond to more conservative measures. During surgery, the humeral head (joint ball) and the glenoid (socket) are replaced. Thanks to improved surgical, anesthetic, and rehabilitation techniques, this is a very successful surgery.

Reverse shoulder replacement is another option for patients who have:

  • Completely torn rotator cuffs with severe arm weakness
  • The effects of severe arthritis and rotator cuff tearing (cuff tear arthropathy)
  • Had a previous shoulder replacement that failed

For these patients a conventional shoulder replacement can still leave them with pain and prevent them from being able to lift their arm up past a 90 degree angle. To correct this condition, reverse shoulder replacement allows patients to use the deltoid muscle instead of the torn rotator cuff to lift the arm. This is achieved by attaching the metal ball to the shoulder bone and the plastic socket is attached to the upper arm bone.

Shoulder joint replacement surgery allows patients to experience an improved quality of life with less pain, improved motion and strength, and better function of the shoulder.


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