Things to Know About Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure in which portions of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced with artificial implants. This process is very successful in reducing pain and range of mobility and helps combat the severe pain and stiffness caused by end-stage shoulder arthritis or a severe shoulder fracture.
Two types of shoulder replacement surgery are regular shoulder replacement surgery and reverse shoulder replacement surgery.
Regular Shoulder Replacement Surgery
In regular shoulder replacement surgery, the ball portion of the shoulder is replaced by a metal ball and the socket is replaced by a plastic piece. The orientation remains the same as what naturally occurs in our bodies.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery
In reverse shoulder replacement surgery, the ball and socket parts of the shoulder joint switch sides, meaning they are in the reverse orientation from what naturally occurs in our bodies.
During reverse prosthesis, the shoulder joint is still replaced with metal and plastic components as with regular shoulder replacement surgery, but the ball is placed on the socket side of the joint. The socket is then placed on the arm side, where it is supported by a metal stem in the humerus, or the arm bone. Screws on the socket side hold the reverse prosthesis in place in the bone of the shoulder blade, and the ball screws into a plate attached to the socket.
The part of the prosthesis that is placed into the arm bone is secured with cement, bonding the metal to the bone. The plastic socket piece is pressed into the end of the stem, where it’s securely fixed by locking into the metal piece. This allows the socket to rotate on the ball so that shoulder motion can be restored. Muscles around the shoulder also keep the reverse prosthesis in place.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery Recovery Timelines
In general, it may take eight weeks or more for patients to fully recover from surgery. It may also be several months before a patient may do heavy labor or strenuous strength exercises.
After surgery, most patients receive a morphine pump to control their own pain medicine with ease. After the first day, most patients will orally ingest the pain medicine. The arm will be in a brace, but it can be taken off during therapy.
Shoulder replacement surgery is a highly successful procedure. One year following surgery, 95% of patients have pain-free function, allowing them to return to exercises they may have previously avoided due to shoulder pain. Physical activity and sports—such as playing golf or tennis, doing yoga, or swimming—also allow them to restore strength and motion in the shoulder.
Schedule Shoulder Replacement Surgery with RNJOI Today
At Rutgers North Jersey Orthopaedic Institute, our doctors work across multiple disciplines to offer comprehensive joint replacement services to patients who have exhausted all other methods of treatment for their joint injury or illness. Our Total Joint Replacement division offers complete joint replacement services, including ankle replacement, elbow replacement, partial and total hip replacement, partial and total knee replacement, and regular and reverse shoulder replacement. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with treatment, rehabilitation, and more.