There has been an increase in the number of total shoulder replacement arthroplasties performed in the U.S. during the last couple of decades.
Why Total Shoulder Replacements are Performed
The total shoulder replacement procedure is only done as a last resort for most patients. Typical candidates are those who have longstanding osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Also, if a patient has suffered a traumatic injury that resulted in serious damage to the shoulder, a joint replacement procedure is typically the only possible option.
Before the patient has this procedure, the orthopedic surgeon will try many conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications.
The total shoulder replacement procedure involves repairing an arthritic or damaged shoulder joint with a plastic socket and metal ball. There are several forms of this procedure, and it is typically safe and effective. Most patients who have a shoulder replacement have few complications, and can return to activities such as tennis, golf, and swimming.
The procedure is done under either general or regional anesthesia. The surgeon must make an incision at the front region that is around six inches long. The muscle is divided, the diseased joint must be entered, and the upper arm bone (humerus) is resected.
A plastic liner is positioned into the shoulder socket and kept in place with a special cement. Then, the surgeon places a metal ball down the arm bone, and the surface of this prosthesis allows for bone growth to hold it in position. The total shoulder replacement surgery takes around two to three hours.
Once the total shoulder replacement surgery is done, an immobilizer is used for 24 hours. The patient is encouraged to use his or her arm immediately, for such tasks as brushing teeth and eating. During the first eight weeks following surgery, the patient must do particular home exercises to improve motion. Also, the home aftercare therapy will improve strength of the shoulder muscles.
Most patients who have a total shoulder replacement procedure must perform certain therapy exercises on their own twice each day for around five minutes each session. Regular activities can be resumed in as little as six weeks following the surgery.
Dr. Sumit Dewanjee of FXRX is one of the top shoulder surgeons in Phoenix, and has extensive experience in rotator cuff repair and total shoulder replacement procedures.
As a Board Certified, Fellowship Trained orthopedic doctor in Phoenix, you will be in the best hands at FXRX! Call (480) 449-3979.
Dines, JS, Fealy, S, Strauss, EJ, Allen, A., Craig, EV, Warren, RF, & Dines DM. (2006). Outcomes analysis of revision total shoulder replacement. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 88(7), 1494-1500.
Kim, SH, Wise, BL, Zhang, Y, & Szabo, RM. (2011). Increasing incidence of shoulder in the United States. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2011 Dec 21;93(24):2249-2254. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.01994