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Shoulder Replacement Surgery

When motion and pain combine to reduce a patient's capacity to carry out normal daily activities, sometimes a shoulder replacement may be the only solution if less invasive joint sparing techniques are not successful. In shoulder replacement surgery, the shoulder joint is replaced, much like in a hip joint. The humeral head, or upper part of the ball joint of the shoulder, is replaced with a similar appearing prosthetic head. This device extends into the humerus and may either be cemented or cementless into the canal of the bone.

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

On occasion, the glenoid, or socket located above the ball, may require a replacement to smooth the contours of an arthritic change joint surface. This is to provide a better function without postoperative discomfort. This decision to replace or provide a new surface is many time decided upon at the time of surgery. Currently, navigation is not being used in orientation of shoulder replacement components.Yet, with the advent of more refined computer-assisted orthopedic surgery systems and computer orientation models, it is expected that this technology will transcend to total shoulder replacement, as is already being done in hip and knee surgery.

David R. Lionberger, MD, 2006