Total Shoulder Replacement
In a shoulder replacement (arthroplasty) the entire joint is replaced with metal and plastic. This surgery involves separating the deltoid and pectoralis muscles in the front of your shoulder to access the shoulder in a nerve-free location. The rotator cuff is released to access the shoulder joint.
Your surgeon replaces the ball of your upper arm bone with a surgical-metal ball and replaces the damaged socket cartilage with a surgical plastic insert. This approach relies on your rotator cuff to power your shoulder the same way that a healthy shoulder functions.
If you have a large, irreparable rotator-cuff tear, the ball of the upper arm bone may be replaced with an oversized ball or a rectangular plastic insert. In this case, the socket is replaced with a metal ball in what is known as a reverse total shoulder replacement.
After this surgery your shoulder will use the deltoid muscles instead of the rotator cuff to power and position the arm. Both surgeries provide substantial pain reduction.
Expect to undergo physical therapy after surgery. Although it can take up to a year, most patients who have total shoulder replacement surgery feel much better and are able to move their shoulders with greater ease and less pain, making everyday tasks enjoyable again.