Shoulder Joint Replacement

Shoulder Joint Replacement Overview

A shoulder joint replacement treats an arthritic shoulder joint. The procedure is usually recommended to treat severe shoulder arthritis that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment options, like anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, physical activity, and lifestyle modifications. Patients who suffer from shoulder arthritis are encouraged to make an appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) shoulder specialist to find out if shoulder joint replacement is an appropriate treatment option.

How is a total knee replacement performed?

A shoulder joint replacement is an inpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. A CONA specialist carefully removes arthritic bone and replaces it with a perfect fit prosthesis. Three procedure may be performed:

  1. A total shoulder joint replacement. The shoulder joint ball and socket are replaced.
  2. A partial shoulder joint replacement. The humeral head (top of the arm bone) is replaced.
  3. A reverse total shoulder. The ball and socket are replaced and their positions are changed.

A reverse total shoulder is used to treat shoulder that have severe arthritis and rotator cuff tears.

What conditions can shoulder joint replacement treat?

  • Shoulder arthritis that causes severe joint damage and makes moving the shoulder difficult and painful.
  • A humeral head fracture or fracture of the articulating portion of the arm bone.

What are shoulder joint replacement advantages?

Total joint replacement makes it possible for severe shoulder arthritis patients to live pain-free lives and perform many movements and participate in many activities that they previously could not.

What is shoulder joint replacement recovery like?

Infection risks are decreased and pain is monitored and controlled during a 1-3 night hospital stay. The next two weeks are spent resting and relaxing at home. Physical therapy is started as soon as possible to help speed up the recovery process. A CONA shoulder specialist is seen 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months and 6 months after the procedure. Total recovery time takes about 6-8 months.

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