Replacing whole or part of your shoulder joint may be required in situations where a more limited keyhole or open surgery is ineffective.
This might be the case in advanced osteoarthritis, complex fractures in which fixing the bone pieces back in place is not feasible, or where the muscles and tendons around the shoulder are too damaged to be stitched back into place. Other conditions which can damage the shoulder joint are Rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, rotator cuff tears, Avascular Necrosis, or previously failed shoulder replacement surgery.
During shoulder replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the joint are replaced with artificial components, called a prosthesis. There are three broad types of shoulder replacement:
• Shoulder Hemi Arthroplasty, where only the ball of the shoulder joint is replaced, either with a prosthesis with a long stem into the arm bone or one without the stem.
• Total Shoulder Arthroplasty, where the ball as well as the socket is replaced with a metal and plastic one.
• Reverse Polarity Shoulder Replacement, where the ball and socket of the shoulder joint is replaced with a metal and plastic device, with the artificial metal ball attached to the shoulder blade and the socket attached to the arm bone.
If a replacement surgery were required, Mr George-Malal will carefully explain the pros and cons of each approach and help guide you to make the right choice.