Shoulder Treatments and Surgeries

Your Treatment Options for Shoulder Pain

Following an orthopaedic evaluation of your shoulder, your doctor will review and discuss the results with you. Based on his or her diagnosis, your treatment options may include:

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Shoulder joint fluid supplements (injections that provide temporary pain relief)
  • Total shoulder joint replacement

When joint pain and stiffness become severe enough to affect your daily life and comfort, and when that pain is not relieved by other treatment options, shoulder replacement may be recommended.

* — January 2006.

Common Treatments & Surgeries

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Conditioning Program
Rotator Cuff Tears: Surgical Treatment Options
Shoulder Arthroscopy
Shoulder Joint Replacement
Shoulder Surgery
Shoulder Surgery Exercise Guide
Thermal Capsular Shrinkage

About Shoulder Replacement

Replacement of an arthritic or injured shoulder is less common than knee or hip replacement. However, shoulder replacement typically offers all the same benefits as those procedures — including joint pain relief and the restoration of more normal joint movement.

Restoring your movement is particularly important in the shoulder, because it’s the mechanism that allows your arm to rotate in every direction. If you’re experiencing severe shoulder pain and reduced shoulder movement, there are probably many daily activities you can no longer do — or do as comfortably — as before your shoulder problems began. This may mean you’re ready to consider shoulder replacement surgery.

In shoulder replacement surgery, the artificial shoulder joint can have either two or three parts, depending on the type of surgery required.

  • The humeral component (metal)
  • The humeral head component (metal)
  • The glenoid component (plastic) replaces the surface of the socket

There are two types of shoulder replacement procedures:

  1. Partial shoulder replacement is performed when the glenoid socket is intact and does not need to be replaced. In this procedure, the humeral component is implanted, and the humeral head is replaced.
  2. Total shoulder replacement is performed when the glenoid socket is damaged and needs to be replaced. All three shoulder joint components are used in this procedure.

Shoulder replacement surgery is much less common than Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery, but is a safe and effective procedure in helping patients relieve pain and resume their everyday activities. First developed to fix fractures of the shoulder, shoulder replacement surgery is commonly used today to treat a variety of painful conditions including arthritis.

In shoulder replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the shoulder are replaced with artificial components. If only the end of the humerus or upper arm bone, is replaced, it is called hemiarthroplasty. If a Total Shoulder Replacement both the end of the humerus and the socket of the shoulder joint are replaced.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Reverse shoulder replacement is used to treat severe shoulder arthritis and massive rotator cuff damage. Orthopaedics East and Sports Medicine Center is one of the only orthopaedic practices in our region trained to perform this complicated procedure.

If more conservative treatments like medications and activity changes are no longer helpful for relieving your shoulder pain, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians to inquire about shoulder/reverse shoulder joint replacement.

Learn more about Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement at the following link from AAOS: Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Activities Following Surgery

It is important for patients to recognize that resuming normal activity after shoulder replacement surgery takes several weeks, and that they may have to alter the way they do certain activities until they are fully recovered. To fully recover, however, patients should stay active by following the guidelines of their doctor and physical therapist.

Quick Fact

Arms are among the most commonly broken bones, accounting for almost half of all adults’ broken bones.