While somewhat less common than hip or knee replacement, shoulder replacement surgery is a procedure with proven effectiveness for relieving pain and improving quality of life. And the improvements in pain and range of motion following shoulder replacement are similar to those of hip and/or knee replacements.
Patients who experience advanced arthritis in their shoulders or have large tears in their rotator cuffs often find replacement of the joints to be the best option if conservative treatment efforts prove ineffective.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 53,000 people in the U.S. undergo shoulder replacement surgery each year.
Some patients who benefit from this procedure find that even simple tasks like raising their arms to put on shirts or lifting cups of water are nearly impossible due to pain prior to surgical intervention. But shoulder replacement enables most patients to return to a moderate and sensible level of activity and movement.
Are you a candidate for shoulder replacement?
Consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon at Campbell Clinic is the best way to determine if you are a candidate for shoulder replacement surgery. Some of the factors below may also indicate that it’s the right option for you.
- Moderate or severe pain in your shoulder, even while sitting or resting
- Reduction in range of motion in your shoulder or progressive weakness in the joint
- Inability to lift light objects or significant pain while performing simple tasks such as dressing or showering
Which approach is right for you?
Total Shoulder Replacement
During a total shoulder replacement, the damaged surfaces in an arthritic joint are replaced with artificial components that include a metal ball attached to a stem and a plastic socket. A patient with an intact rotator cuff tendon who suffers from advanced osteoarthritis would likely benefit from a total shoulder replacement.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement
For older individuals who suffer from a large rotator cuff tear, with or without arthritis, a reverse shoulder replacement may be a better option. During a reverse replacement, the surgeon still implants a metal ball and a plastic socket; but switches the placement of these components so the socket is instead attached to the upper humerus and the ball opposite it. This reconstitutes the function of the rotator cuff and typically allows patients to improve their range of motion, particularly in overhead activities.
Other partial joint replacement procedures include replacing only one component, typically the humeral head.
For a complete list of Campbell Clinic total joint replacement specialists, click here.
For more information about shoulder replacement in the outpatient setting, please contact the following physicians who perform these procedures in our surgery center:
- Tyler J. Brolin, M.D. – (901) 759-5522
- Thomas “Quin” Throckmorton, M.D. – (901) 759-3110