Replacement of Shoulder Joints

The shoulder joint is a ball and a socket joint. The ball is the top of the arm bone and the socket is part of the shoulder blade. The shoulder joint is an amazing joint that allows mobility much more than any other joint in the body. Pain and disability can occur in the shoulder joints if there is a fracture or the patient is suffering from problem like arthritis. There are a number of situations in which there is requirement of a part of the shoulder to be replaced or sometimes total shoulder replacement is needed.

The most common cause for the pain and disability in this case is shoulder arthritis. Arthritis can cause the smooth cartilage lining of the shoulder joint to wear away, exposing bone. Shoulder arthritis is often very painful and limits the shoulder mobility and function. The other common reason to replace a shoulder is a shoulder fracture. The best option when the bone around the shoulder joint is broken is to replace it rather than try to repair the bone. This is especially true when the fracture is in multiple pieces and in case aged patients.

Surgical Options For Shoulder Joint Replacement

There are several surgical options that can be considered when replacing a shoulder.

Total Shoulder Replacement

A complete shoulder replacement is usually performed in the case of severe arthritis of the shoulder joint. Some surgeons shy away from performing a total shoulder replacement surgery, as getting the socket to work well and last a long time can be pretty difficult. These surgeons may choose to perform a hemiarthroplasty, in hopes of providing a more predictable result. On the other hand, the surgeons who favor’s total shoulder replacement will argue that you are only treating part of the problem by only replacing the ball and by doing so the results will be less likely to be as good.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

A reverse shoulder replacement is a newer procedure that is being used nowadays to treat a difficult problem called a rotator cuff tear arthropathy. This problem occurs when there is shoulder arthritis as well as a rotator cuff tear. Normal total shoulder replacements are designed to work with a normal rotator cuff and may cause problems without a good rotator cuff. The reverse shoulder replacement was designed for that issue.

Shoulder Hemiarthroplasty

The shoulder hemiarthroplasty is most oftenly performed for one of these three reasons. The first is an arthritic shoulder where the socket is working properly and is not in bad condition, but the ball needs to be replaced. The second one is, in rotator cuff tear arthropathy where a total should replacement may have chances to likely fail over the time. The last one is a proximal humerus fracture, where there is too much damage to repair the ball, but the socket is not damaged and is in a normal condition.

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