Shoulder Joint Replacement Surgery
Shoulder joint replacement is a surgical procedure performed to remove damaged parts of the shoulder joint and replace them with an artificial prosthesis. The replacement of the joint involves treating either the hummers head called the ball, or the glenoid known as ball and socket.
A smooth surface covering the bone, known as the cartilage, and a smooth tissue membrane covering the remaining of the shoulder surface ensure that the normal function of the shoulder.
Factors that Lead to Shoulder Joint Replacement
There are various conditions that damage the hip joint resulting in the need for a hip replacement surgery.
Rheumatoid arthritis (Inflammatory arthritis): This is the inflammation and thickening of the synovial membrane which surrounds the joint. The inflammation causes injury and loss of cartilage, stiffness and pain.
Osteoarthritis: This is a disorder which breaks down the cartilage in the joint, and as a result wearing off the bones due to friction against each other. This friction causes pain, inflammation, swelling and immobility. Osteoarthritis mostly affects middle-aged and older individuals and is a major cause of shoulder replacement surgery.
Post-traumatic arthritis: This is a form of arthritis caused by injury that occurred and fractured the bones and tore the ligament or tendons, which eventually leads to gradual damage of the cartilage resulting in pain and immobility of the shoulder.
An acute fracture: This occurs when the head of the humerus (arm bone) wears out and breaks, which as a result disrupts blood supply to the bone.
Rotator cuff tear arthropathy (RCTA): Also known as shoulder arthritis with a large rotator cuff tear, this occurs when the shoulder loses cartilage on the joint surface and tears tendons of the rotator cuff leading to arthritis.
Osteonecrosis (Avascular Necrosis): This is a condition where the blood supply to the bone is disrupted causing the blood cells to die, which damages the shoulder joint.
Before the shoulder replacement procedure, an appointment is scheduled whereby he/she undergoes a physical examination to evaluate their fitness. If the patient is taking certain blood thinning medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen, he/she is advised to stop at least 2 weeks prior to the surgery to avoid excessive bleeding. The orthopedic surgeon will give the patient a list of what to do and what not to do in order to have a successful surgery with faster healing.
Techniques Involved in Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Shoulder replacement surgery lasts approximately 2 hours, and there are various techniques used in the procedure.
Total Shoulder Replacement
During this procedure, a metal ball attached to a stem and socket and covered with plastic is used to replace the damaged joint surface. The elements used in the upper arm bone (humeral head) can either be cemented or non-cemented (press-fit). Non-cemented element is used on a bone that is still in good condition while cemented is used when the bone has become soft.