Of all the joints in the body, the shoulder has the greatest range of motion. So a shoulder joint that is impacted by disease or damaged by activity or an accident can cause chronic, debilitating pain and limit the use of your arm.
While not as common as knee or hip replacement surgery, today’s shoulder replacement surgery has been marked by tremendous advancements in both surgical techniques and prosthesis development technology. The surgeons at the Spine & Joint Institute are in the forefront for shoulder replacement surgery, and have an outstanding record of successful patient outcomes for the procedure.
The term “shoulder joint replacement” does not mean replacing the entire shoulder structure. Called arthroplasty, shoulder replacement surgery is a procedure in which the damaged or arthritic area of a joint is removed and replaced by an artificial shoulder implant (prosthesis) that is designed to replicate the motions of a normal, healthy joint.
The shoulder joint is made up of two bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), and the scapula (shoulder blade). The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint where the ball of the humerus fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade, and rotates as it is being controlled by muscles and tendons.
Damage to that joint can be caused by several conditions or impaired by physical trauma. Some of those include osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that comes from “wear and tear” over the years, by rheumatoid arthritis which causes inflammation that can damage the cartilage in the joint and result in severe pain and stiffness, and avascular necrosis, a very painful condition occurring when blood supply to the shoulder bones is disrupted. Shoulder problems can also be caused by severe fractures in the shoulder bones and by torn cartilage in the joint and chronic rotator cuff failure. Your symptoms will determine the type of shoulder surgery your doctor will recommend.
In shoulder replacement surgery, doctors replace the ends of the damaged upper arm bone (humerus) and usually the shoulder bone (scapula), or cap them with artificial surfaces lined with plastic or metal and plastic.
Your stay in the hospital will generally be about one day including the day of the procedure, and following your surgery, you will typically have a short recovery period— followed by an extensive and intensive rehabilitation program developed by SJI and specifically tailored to your physical condition and abilities.
Of course, there are a great many important details about shoulder replacement surgery we have not gone into here, and you will have a number of important questions you would like answered before you make your final decision. That is why the Spine & Joint Institute has compiled a detailed booklet that provides complete details about the procedure and answers frequently asked questions about shoulder replacement surgery, the recovery period, your expectations and many other important topics.