Your shoulder joint may wear out over time from repeated use. You might experience regular pain, and it may even limit your ability to move your shoulder normally, which could interfere with your everyday life. Fortunately, you can get shoulder joint replacement surgery to get long-term relief. Shoulder joint replacement surgery is available in two forms: total shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder replacement. So, which one’s right for you?
A shoulder replacement involves an orthopedic surgeon replacing part or all of your shoulder joint. The socket makes up part of your shoulder blade. The ball is the top portion of your humerus (upper arm bone), fits into the socket, and connects to tendons and ligaments. Both of these components are replaceable.
Total Shoulder Replacement
During a total shoulder joint replacement, you receive a metal ball with a stem to replace the existing damaged ball in your shoulder joint. It attaches to the humerus’ shaft. In some cases, your surgeon may replace the socket as well with a plastic component that’s cemented into the socket using medical-grade cement. Your surgeon may cement the stem in place, as well.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement
During a reverse shoulder replacement, a surgeon will use screws and tools to connect a plastic socket to your bone and replace part of your socket with a metal ball. The ball can move inside the socket while the socket attaches your upper arm bone. Ultimately, the reverse surgeon resembles your anatomy more closely.
Who Qualifies for Each Procedure
Each procedure aims to do the same thing – replace a damaged joint with artificial components – however, the method to do so is slightly different. A standard shoulder replacement surgery is for people who still have healthy tendons in their shoulders intact. A reverse shoulder replacement is for people who have a damaged or malfunctioning rotator cuff.
Both are for people who had an injury that damaged the joint beyond natural healing or have arthritis that damaged the joint permanently. Patients who require a shoulder replacement tend to have a great deal of pain in their shoulders and have limited mobility in that area. Both procedures can solve such issues.
With both surgeries, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for a few days to be monitored to ensure the surgery went well. Both surgeries will cause some degree of pain afterward. You’ll be given pain relievers to ease the pain for either surgery, so the recovery is more comfortable. Both surgeries will require you to undergo physical therapy to optimize function and range of motion in your shoulder.
Fortunately, while complications are possible with either surgery, they’re rare. Infection, for instance, is possible with either surgery, but your orthopedic surgeon will take the necessary steps to reduce your risk as much as possible.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery in North Dakota
At The Bone & Joint Center, our experts perform shoulder replacement surgery on a regular basis. We perform total shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder replacement to help our patients find long-term relief.
If you are interested in learning more about these procedures and want to know which one is right for you, visit us today. Schedule an appointment by calling us at 1-800-424-2663. You may also fill out our online appointment scheduling form.