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Anatomy of the Shoulder

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  Partial Shoulder Replacement


Replacement of an arthritic or injured shoulder is less common than knee or hip replacement. When necessary, however, shoulder replacement typically provides the same benefits as those procedures, including relief of joint pain and restoration of more normal joint movement.

A partial shoulder joint replacement is used when the glenoid socket is intact and does not need to be replaced. In this procedure, the humeral component is implanted, and the humeral head is replaced.

Will an artificial shoulder joint last forever?

As successful as most of these procedures are, over the years, the artificial joints can become loose and unstable or wear out, requiring a revision (repeat) surgery. These issues -- together with the fact that increasing numbers of younger and more active patients are receiving total joint replacement, and patients are living longer -- have challenged the orthopedic industry to try to extend the life cycle of total joint replacements.

Recent improvements in surgical techniques and instrumentation will help to further the success of your treatment. The availability of advanced materials, such as titanium and ceramic prostheses, and new plastic joint liners provides orthopedic surgeons with options that may help to increase the longevity of the artificial joint.

Having an orthopedic evaluation

If you're ready to consider having shoulder joint replacement, the next important step is to talk with an orthopedic surgeon. The medical management of arthritis and joint degeneration may be handled by a family doctor, an internist, or a rheumatologist. However, when medical management is not effective, an orthopedic surgeon should be consulted to determine if surgery is an option. In some cases, the orthopedic surgeon may be the first physician to see a patient and make the diagnosis of arthritis.

Shoulder joint replacement

If you and your orthopedic surgeon decide that shoulder replacement surgery is an option to relieve your pain, the orthopedic surgeon will provide the specific-to-you details of which type of artificial joint he or she will use, what you need to know to prepare for the surgery, how the surgery will be performed, and what results you can expect once you're up and moving again.



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