The decision to have shoulder arthroplasty, otherwise known as a shoulder replacement surgery, should be a cooperative one between you, your family, your general practitioner and your orthopaedic surgeon.
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend shoulder replacement surgery.
People who benefit from surgery often have:
- Severe shoulder pain that interferes with everyday activities, such as reaching into a cabinet, dressing, toileting, and washing.
- Moderate to severe pain while resting. This pain may be severe enough to prevent a good night’s sleep.
Loss of motion and/or weakness in the shoulder.
- Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, injections, or physical therapy.
What is shoulder replacement?
The shoulder joint is the third most common joint replaced in the body. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint: the ball (humeral head) of your upper arm bone (humerus) fits into a shallow socket (glenoid). When this joint becomes worn or painful, your specialist may recommend a shoulder replacement.
Sometimes, only the “ball” is replaced, this is called a hemiarthroplasty. When the “ball and socket” are both replaced, this is called a total shoulder arthroplasty. The ball is made of metal and the socket is made of metal or plastic.