To understand how a Shoulder Replacement Surgery, also known as Shoulder Arthroplasty or Glenohumeral Arthroplasty is performed, one must understand the brief anatomy of the Shoulder. Shoulder is made up of three bones – upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula) and your collarbone. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The head (ball) of your upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket (glenoid) in your shoulder blade. This ball and socket construction allows circular movement of the arm.
The surface of the bones is covered with cartilages and tissues. Also, shoulder is surrounded by muscles and tendons. These structures provide mobility, stability and support to the shoulder joint.
A Shoulder Replacement Surgery is performed when a Shoulder Problem is not getting cured by non-surgical treatment options. In a Shoulder Replacement Surgery, the damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial components called as prosthesis. The surgical options include replacement of just the head of the humerus (ball) or replacement of both the ball and socket (glenoid).
The goal of the Shoulder Replacement Surgery is to relieve shoulder pain and normalize shoulder functions and provide strength to the optimum. The procedure has a good success ratio and many patients return to active sports post this surgery.
Shoulder Replacement was pioneered by the French Surgeon Jules Emile Pean in 1893 who used platinum and rubber materials as implants. The procedure has greatly advanced over time and is now considered as the best option for patients with severe arthritic pain which is not relieved by non-surgical methods.
Conditions that require Shoulder Replacement in case non-surgical methods does not help, are as follows:
Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy
Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis)