From small tasks like reaching into a cabinet to complete loss of motion and functionality, shoulder pain can severely interfere with your everyday activities and hobbies.
Shoulder replacement surgery is a successful procedure for relieving pain and restoring normal functionality. In fact, more than 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery each year.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
There are a few common reasons why shoulder pain may be present:
- Including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis
- Rotator cuff tear arthropathy
- Degenerative joint disease
Shoulder Pain Evaluation
If you’re considering shoulder replacement surgery, a visit with an orthopaedic surgeon is your first step. During your visit, the specialist will perform a thorough evaluation to see if your condition could benefit from surgery. Your surgeon will likely request:
- A physical examination
- Your full medical history
Once the surgeon has reviewed your test results and evaluated your condition, they will explain the ideal treatment and/or surgical options with you.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery Options
When nonsurgical options like physical therapy and medications don’t work to relieve pain and restore functionality, shoulder replacement surgery may be recommended.
Damaged parts of the shoulder are replaced with prosthetics made from plastic or metal.
Treatment options are either the replacement of the head of the humerus bone (ball) or replacement of both the ball and socket (glenoid).
There are a few different types of shoulder replacement surgeries:
- Total Shoulder Replacement
Also known as total shoulder arthroplasty, this is the process of replacing a damaged humeral head (also knows as the joint ball) with a metal ball that is attached to a stem, and installing a new plastic surface on the glenoid (also known as the socket). Total shoulder replacement may not be suitable for those who want to remain highly active or have badly damaged rotator cuff muscles.
- Partial Shoulder Replacement
When patients have a damaged humeral head but a normal socket, a partial shoulder replacement — or stemmed hemiarthroplasty — may be recommended. With this procedure, the head of the humerus is replaced with a prosthetic implant but the natural socket is kept intact. This surgery has a smaller incision than a total shoulder replacement and doesn’t remove as much bone.
- Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
For some patients, a total shoulder replacement can still leave them in pain. With a reverse total shoulder replacement, the positions of the shoulder joint’s ball and socket are reversed. This procedure changes the center of rotation in the shoulder joint, which allows other muscles to compensate for the lack of rotator cuff movement.
Shoulder Replacement Recovery
View the following shoulder surgery recovery protocols to learn what to expect after your procedure.
- Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery — Acromioplasty Recovery Plan