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Understanding the Different Types of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

It is estimated that over 53,000 people undergo shoulder surgery each year in the United States. This surgery is only offered when non-surgical treatment options fail to restore movement and reduce pain in the shoulder. Whether the shoulder damage was caused due to an accident, sports, or a fall, shoulder replacement surgery may improve your quality of life. Depending on the type of damage present, there are different types of shoulder replacement surgeries that your shoulder injury doctor in Atlanta may recommend.

Total Shoulder Replacement

Traditional shoulder arthroplasty, commonly known as total shoulder replacement surgery, is considered to be the most reliable surgical option for those looking to regain movement and function from a severely injured or damaged shoulder condition. A total shoulder replacement completely replaces the ball and socket components of the shoulder. Prosthetics are placed, allowing the patient improved range of motion. This surgery is often recommended for those suffering from extreme shoulder pain and arthritis but it is not considered a great option for those who have a damaged rotator cuff- or who plan on staying active.

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the surgeon replaces a damaged shoulder joint with metal and plastic components that reverse the structure of the shoulder. The procedure is used most often for patients who have had a failed total shoulder replacement.  During this surgery, the positions of both the shoulder’s ball and socket are reversed. The ball at the top of the skeletal humorous is replaced with a socket prosthetic and the patient’s socket is then fitted with a prosthetic ball. Because the surgery changes the center of the joint rotation, a reverse shoulder replacement is a viable option for those experiencing with a severely damaged rotator cuff, such as a complete tear of the rotator cuff, especially when the injury has led to an arthritic condition known as cuff tear arthropathy

Partial Shoulder Replacement

This surgery involves just the partial replacement of the injured shoulder’s parts. Instead of replacing both the ball and socket with prosthetics, only the humeral head is removed and replaced with a prosthetic ball. The natural socket remains in place. Depending on the condition of the socket, it may be smoothed or reshaped to improve movement.

Shoulder Resurfacing

When the ball of the shoulder is damaged but doesn’t necessarily need a replacement, a shoulder resurfacing may be  helpful. Instead of removing the ball, or humeral head, completely, the surgeon instead applies a fitted cap to the bone replacing the damaged or diseased part of the humeral head with a metal implant. This improves the movement of the shoulder without the installation of prosthetics. Physical therapy will be needed to regain a range of motion and increased shoulder strength. It may be a great option for resolving pain without having to replace the shoulder completely.

Various types of  shoulder surgery offer options to repair specific injuries or damage caused by arthritis or other disease. From shoulder pain to loss of motion, if your shoulder isn’t performing as it should, it’s time to meet with an orthopedic physician. If non-surgical treatment options don’t resolve the problem, your physician may recommend shoulder replacement surgery in Atlanta to regain the full use of your shoulder. With so many options available, your shoulder will regain motion in no time. Get in touch with OrthoAtlanta today to find out more.

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