Shoulder Replacement Surgery

shoulder replacement surgery to treat shoulder pain

Shoulder replacement, or shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure whereby the surfaces of your bones are replaced with artificial implants. Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint made up through the articulations (joints) of the head of humerus (ball-like section of arm bone) and glenoid (shallow cavity located on the scapula - socket). Surrounding this joint is a layer of articular cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments which help provide support, stability and movement. Degenerative changes (arthritis) occur at the shoulder causing the cartilage to be worn away. This results in the bone surfaces rubbing together causing pain and decreased movement. This condition can be treated conservatively (non-operative); however when there are severe arthritic changes to the joint a shoulder arthroplasty is performed to replace the damaged cartilage and bone. Other reasons shoulder arthroplasty’s are performed are severe fractures, failed previous shoulder arthroplasty, tumours and avascular necrosis (bone dies due to obstruction of blood supply).

There are 4 types of surgery performed depending on the extent and severity of your injury. These are: