Severe shoulder conditions with persistent symptoms that have not responded to conservative treatments may benefit from shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder replacement surgery replaces the damaged joint with an artificial one that allows patients to enjoy painless motion and resume their regular activities. The replacement can vary depending on the type of problem that you have. In some cases only the humerus (ball side) is replaced and this is called a hemiarthroplasty. In most cases a total shoulder is performed, where both sides of the joint are replaced as shown in the image. In some cases, a reverse total shoulder replacement is necessary. This is performed in patients with arthritis and a large rotator cuff tear that is not repairable.
Shoulder replacement surgery is often performed to treat conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rotator cuff tear arthropathy
Patients with severe cases of these conditions often experience pain, limited range of motion, stiffness, swelling and more. These symptoms can be effectively relieved by replacing the damaged bone and cartilage with a metal and plastic implant. Similar to the hip, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that can be significantly improved with joint replacement surgery. For more detailed information, please see the links below that described the usual procedure, hospital course and recovery associated with the procedures.
In many cases, patients are highly active following replacement and can play multiple sports including Golfing after Shoulder Replacement, tennis and water skiing.