How Shoulder Replacements Work

shoulder replacements

Wondering exactly what happens during a shoulder replacement? Here’s how your orthopedic surgeon can restore your damaged, injured shoulder joint.

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball part is the upper part of the arm bone (humerus), which moves on the shallow socket part which is in the shoulder blade (scapula). The articular cartilage that covers the bony ends provides a smooth gliding surface for the joint. In arthritis, this cartilage is damaged. Arthritis can be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritis resulting from trauma, rotator cuff problems or avascular necrosis. When the conservative treatment fails surgery is recommended.

The most frequently performed shoulder replacements are total shoulder replacement, hemiarthroplasty, resurfacing hemiarthroplasty and reverse shoulder replacement. They’re used to treat different injuries.

Total shoulder replacement means replacing the damaged ball part of your shoulder joint with a metal ball attached to a stem. The damaged socket is replaced with a plastic socket. These components can be either cemented or press-fit depending on patient’s bone quality. They come in various sizes and accurate size best fitted for patient’s anatomy is selected intra-operatively.

For a reverse shoulder replacement, the metal ball is attached to your shoulder blade and the plastic socket part is attached to the stem of your upper arm bone. This procedure is performed for patients who have arthritis with massive rotator cuff tear and can’t lift their arm. The reverse shoulder replacement provides these patients pain relief and ability to lift the arm up using the deltoid muscle instead of torn an irreparable rotator cuff.

Physical therapy and a well-planned rehabilitation program is the key to getting the full range of motion and strength of your shoulder back after replacement procedures.

Dr. Leon E. Popovitz and Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, along with their team of best in class orthopedic physicians, are known for their exemplary orthopedic surgical skill and best rated physical medicine and rehabilitation program. This, along with their top in-office physical therapy and long-term sports rehabilitation processes, leads to athletes of all levels returning to their top physical potential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

New York Bone and Joint Specialists is a top rated, private Orthopedic and Sports Medicine practice with locations in New York City, Hoboken, and Englewood, NJ. The Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Pain Management specialists routinely perform surgical and non-surgical treatments for professional athletes from across the United States.

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