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April 19 2021 at 09:16 AM by Biswajeet Sahoo


Orthopedics is the study of disease and its related symptoms of the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedy involves the treatment of both adults and children with orthopedic problems.

Shoulder joint replacement is a surgical procedure involving the replacement of the shoulder joint with artificial joints. There are several conditions that may give rise to shoulder pain and the subsequent need for shoulder joint replacement. The humeral head of the shoulder may experience wear and tear and degeneration due to disease conditions such as avascular necrosis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. All these conditions are joint disorders and affect some or all body joints.

Treatment of joints is done by specialized surgeons using modernized methods. The orthopedic clinics are well equipped with advanced tools for carrying out complicated surgical procedures. It is also at par with the latest innovations in the field of orthopedics so that it can deliver the best treatment to individuals.

Prosthetics  for shoulder joint replacement is of world-class quality and is available in various types to suit the individual needs of the patients.

Treating shoulder pain

There are several treatment options available for treating shoulder pain. These include:

·         Physiotherapy that involves regularly carrying out exercises that would help improve shoulder movement and arrest the process of degeneration.

·         Over the counter medications may also prove to be of great help for relieving pain and inflammation of the shoulder region.

·         Corticosteroid injections have also been considered to be of great help in decreasing the pain to a great extent.

·         Surgery is the last option that is considered for treating shoulder pain when patients do not respond to the above-mentioned conservative treatments.



Shoulder joint replacement

Shoulder joint replacement surgery is considered to be the third most common surgical procedure after knee and hip replacement. In this type of surgery, the entire humeral head or a part of it may require replacement depending on the severity of the condition. The following list talks about the various types of shoulder joint replacements.

1.    Shoulder resurfacing arthroplasty: This method is approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a suitable treatment method for shoulder pain. In this type, only the degenerated parts of the joints are replaced with artificial parts. This procedure is achieved by minimal bone resection.

2.    Partial replacement: This procedure also known as shoulder hemiarthroplasty involves the replacement of only one articular surface.

3.    Total replacement: This procedure also known as shoulder arthroplasty consists of the replacement of both the articular surfaces that are replaced by artificial plates known as prosthesis.

4.    Reverse total shoulder replacement: This is a new method and is used for individuals with severe arthritis and for whom the surrounding muscles are also damaged. This method also consists of replacing both the articular surfaces, but with a difference. Here, the ball is placed on the glenoid and the socket or the cup on the humerus. This alternative replacement is done to medialise the center of the joints and in turn, maximize the lever arm.


Shoulder joint replacement takes about 1 – 3 hours. General or regional anesthesia may be given depending on the overall health of the individual and their preference. The surgeon makes an incision to reach the shoulder and thereafter will remove the humerus and head. It is then replaced and cemented with an artificial metal head and stem. Following this, the old socket is smoothened and replaced with a new one. The incision is closed with sutures and the wound is bandaged. A drain pipe is attached to drain the liquid which has may have got accumulated in the joint. This pipe can be removed later on when it is no longer required.

Antibiotics are administered before the surgery and even after it to minimize the risk of infection. Individuals are also advised to get treated for any dental disease, if any, prior to the surgery. This is also done to avoid any chances of infection during and post-surgery.

Individuals are allowed to go home within 1 – 3 days after the surgery depending on their condition. Physiotherapy is a must and should be done regularly for strengthening the muscles around the shoulder region. A new shoulder joint can last for about 10 years depending on the pressure exerted on it. With shoulder replacement surgery, many individuals lead a pain-free life with no stiffness around the shoulder region. They can return to their daily routine within a short period and many were able to resume sports such as golf, swimming, and bowling post-surgery.

Risks associated with shoulder joint replacement

The following are the risks associated with shoulder replacement surgery:

·         The body does not accept the artificial joint and as a result cause infection.

·         The bone may break during surgery.

·         Risk of nerve damage during the surgery.

·         The artificial joint that is implanted may get dislocated.

·         Damage to any of the blood vessels during surgery.


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