The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. The “ball” is formed by the top of your upper arm bone (humerus) and the “socket” is the end of your shoulder blade (scapula). During a shoulder replacement, a metal ball on a stem is inserted into your upper arm bone and a plastic surface is fitted onto the socket. You may have a shoulder replacement if you have osteoarthritis in your shoulder and your rotator cuff is intact. The rotator cuff is made up of a group of four muscles and their tendons. It plays a crucial role in keeping your shoulder joint stable.
If you have severe arthritis, a torn rotator cuff or have already had a shoulder replacement that was unsuccessful; your surgeon may decide to do a reverse shoulder replacement. During this procedure, the metal ball is attached to your shoulder blade and the plastic socket is fitted to the top of your upper arm bone. An artificial joint usually lasts at least 10 years, after which it may need to be replaced.
Conditions for Shoulder Replacement Surgery:
- replacement surgery may be required in following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis
Rotator cuff tear arthropathy (a combination of severe arthritis and a massive non-reparable rotator cuff tendon tear)
- Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis)
- Failed previous shoulder replacement surgery
Recovery after Shoulder Replacement Surgery:
- Do not use your surgery arm to get up out of bed or from a chair position. Use the opposite arm.
- You may be advised not to pull anything to you, such as pulling up pants and opening doors, for six weeks after surgery.
- Your doctor will likely give you a list of exercises to do once you’re home. Be certain to follow your doctor’s instructions, but typically you will be asked to do these four or five times a day for a month or so.
- You may experience less pain after surgery, which may make you believe you can do more.
- Be certain to follow your doctor’s instructions so that you don’t overdo it.
- The amount of weight you can lift using your surgery arm will be limited. You doctor may recommend that you don’t lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee for the first four to six weeks.
- Sling use will vary depending upon the situation, but your doctor may request that you wear the sling every night for at least the first month.
- Avoid many household chores such as, raking, sweeping, mopping, and running the vacuum cleaner using your surgery arm. Use long-handled feather dusters for dusting high and low items. Your doctor will tell you when it is okay to do these activities.