Total shoulder joint replacement
Your upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle) make up your shoulder. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball, or head, of your upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade. We call the socket the glenoid.
Articular cartilage covers the surfaces of the bones where they touch. Cartilage is a smooth substance that protects the bones and enables them to move easily. This is true of every joint in your body. A thin, smooth tissue called synovial membrane covers all remaining surfaces inside the shoulder joint. In a healthy shoulder, this membrane makes a small amount of fluid that lubricates the cartilage. This fluid eliminates almost any friction in your shoulder.
The muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder provide stability and support.
These structures allow the shoulder to rotate through a greater range of motion than any other joint in the body.
Conditions that may require total shoulder joint replacement
Several conditions that may require total shoulder joint replacement can affect the shoulder joint. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of the disease. It may eventually wear down the cartilage between bones to the point where the bones are rubbing against each other. This friction causes pain and limits movement. We also call osteoarthritis “wear and tear arthritis.”
Rheumatoid arthritis a disease in which the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. This chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness.
Post-traumatic arthritis can follow a serious shoulder injury. Fractures of the bones that make up the shoulder may damage the articular cartilage over time. Tears of the shoulder tendons or ligaments can also damage the cartilage.
A patient with a very large, long-standing rotator cuff tear may develop rotator cuff tear arthropathy. In this condition, the changes in the shoulder joint may lead to arthritis and destruction of the joint cartilage.
When the blood supply to the bone is disrupted, avascular necrosis is a painful condition that occurs. Because bone cells die without a blood supply, osteonecrosis can cause destruction of the shoulder joint and lead to arthritis.
Shoulder fracture may require total shoulder joint replacement
A severe fracture of the shoulder is another common reason people have shoulder replacements. When the humerus is shattered it may be very difficult to put the pieces of bone back in place. This can interrupt the blood supply to the bone pieces. In this case, a surgeon may recommend a shoulder replacement. Older patients with osteoporosis are most at risk for severe shoulder fractures.
Shoulder joint replacement is less common than knee or hip replacement. Nevertheless, it is just as successful in relieving joint pain. Outpatient total shoulder replacement at Seaside Surgery Center can relieve your shoulder pain. Call us for an appointment to see one of our world-class orthopedic surgeons specializing in shoulder replacement.