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Shoulder Replacement

BOSS Orthopaedics -  - MRI

BOSS Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery & Physical Therapy located in Beaufort, Bluffton, Hardeeville, & Hilton Head Island, SC

A shoulder replacement restores your shoulder’s strength, range of motion, and function, giving you the ability to return to your favorite activities. The board-certified physicians at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine have extensive experience performing shoulder replacement, using their surgical skills to rebuild your shoulder joint and alleviate your pain. To learn if you’re a good candidate for shoulder replacement, call one of the offices in Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, or Hardeeville, South Carolina, or book an appointment online.

Shoulder Replacement Q & A

When Might I Need a Shoulder Replacement?

The team at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine may recommend a shoulder replacement when you have ongoing pain, limited movement or shoulder weakness, and your symptoms don’t improve despite medical care such as physical therapy.

The shoulder problems that often need a shoulder replacement include:

  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common reason people get a shoulder replacement. This type of arthritis develops gradually as daily movement progressively wears down the cartilage protecting the bones inside the joint.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the joint, causing inflammation that gradually erodes the bones, leading to joint deformities.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy: Though most rotator cuff tears heal with medical care or arthroscopic surgery, a large tear with arthritis (arthropathy) causes extensive damage to the tendons and joint.
  • Severe Fracture: A fracture that shatters the upper arm bone usually requires a shoulder replacement.
  • Avascular Necrosis: Avascular necrosis develops when part of the bone loses its blood supply. As a result, bone cells die and the joint deteriorates.

What Happens During a Shoulder Replacement?

During a shoulder replacement, the orthopaedic surgeons at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine remove all the damaged bone and replace it with prosthetic pieces made of metal and plastic. They may remove the ball and socket, or only the ball, depending on the joint damage.

Your Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine surgeon replaces the ball, or rounded portion of your upper arm, by removing the damaged bone, inserting a metal stem into the center of your arm bone, and then attaching a metal ball to the stem.

To replace the socket, which is the indentation in your shoulder blade that holds the ball, your surgeon removes all the damaged tissue and attaches a plastic lining to the bone, creating a new socket. For the final step, they insert the metal ball into the new socket.

What is a Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

If your rotator cuff is extensively damaged, your surgeon at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine may perform a reverse shoulder replacement.

During this procedure, the position of the ball and socket are switched, so the metal ball implant replaces your natural socket, while a plastic socket is placed on the top of your arm bone.

With this procedure, your arm motion is controlled by the deltoid muscle instead of the rotator cuff, restoring function without placing stress on the rotator cuff.

To learn if your shoulder pain can be relieved with a shoulder replacement, call Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine or schedule an appointment online.