How Does Shoulder Replacement Surgery Work?
Shoulder arthroplasty is a a type of joint replacement surgery that involves the replacement of the humerus and the glenod or the shoulder socket. Here the ball of the humerus is replaced by a metal implant and the socket by a smooth plastic device that takes the place of the functions of the natural cartilage surface. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there are around 53,000 patients who undergo shoulder replacement surgery.
Shoulder replacement surgery is necessary in order to restore the normal functions of the shoulder. It usually starts with unbearable pain in the shoulder which may be due to various causes such as osteoarthritis, broken bones in the arm near the shoulder, tumor in or around the shoulder, and others. There are various risks associated with shoulder replacement. However, if defective replacement devices are implanted in the patient, the result could be debilitating pain and additional injuries which could include significant bone loss, instability, and weakness.
According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the main goal of shoulder replacement is to replace the humerus with a metal “ball” component that is attached to a stem and a plastic socket over the surface of the glenoid. A successful procedure would usually last for 10 to 15 years. However, when faulty shoulder replacement devices are used, the pain could be much longer and the expenses could be huge. It may require a second surgery which could extend the recovery time. The general aim of rehabilitation is to restore shoulder motion and strength. On the other hand, failure of the replacement surgery could result to severe complications.
It is worth noting that precautions still need to be implemented even after the surgery as there is still a risk of infection. Full recovery is the end target and the patient is expected to return to normal activities after some time.