Shoulder Replacement Options
Download BrochureThere are generally three procedures for shoulder replacement – primary total shoulder replacement, reversed total shoulder replacement, and shoulder resurfacing.
The shoulder joint is a ball and socket that connects the upper arm to the body. Conditions that can affect the bones include arthritis, fracture or shoulder dislocation. The shoulder joint is held in place by ligaments and muscles, including the rotator cuff group of muscles, which often are associated with shoulder problems.
With a primary total shoulder replacement, the ball (humeral head) of the shoulder joint is replaced with an implant that includes a stem with a smooth, rounded metal head. The socket (glenoid) is replaced with a smooth, rounded plastic cup that fits the head of the ball perfectly.
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With a reversed total shoulder replacement, the normal structure of the shoulder is “reversed.” The ball portion of the implant is attached to the scapula (where the socket normally is), and the artificial socket is attached to the humeral head (where the ball normally is). This allows the stronger deltoid muscles of the shoulder to take over much of the work of moving the shoulder, increasing joint stability. A reversed procedure is often indicated for patients with compromised rotator cuff function.
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An option for some patients is shoulder resurfacing. With this procedure, the damaged humeral head is sculpted to receive a metal “cap” that fits onto the bone, functioning as a new, smooth humeral head. This procedure can be less invasive than a total shoulder replacement and can provide pain relief; however, your shoulder specialist will advise the best option for your specific condition.
“I don’t understand why people in pain don’t do something to correct the pain. For me, this surgery was the answer.”
Anita – Age 79 – Reversed Total Shoulder Replacement