Shoulder Replacement in Houston, TX
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, roughly 53,000 people per year undergo shoulder replacement. While rarer than hip or knee replacement, this procedure is increasingly common for patients struggling with joint pain and degeneration.
If you are suffering from pain in one or both shoulders or dealing with stiffness and reduced range of movement, Contact us here at Orthopedic Associates to schedule a consultation at one of our 5 areas in Houston orthopaedic surgery offices to discuss your symptoms and learn more about shoulder replacement and other treatment options.
A Look at the Shoulder Joint
The shoulder joint is similar to the hip joint, in that it is a ball-and-socket joint. The head of the upper arm bone (humerus) fits into the socket of your shoulder blade. There’s a layer of cartilage over the humerus head, and the synovial membrane covers the surfaces within the joint. Muscles and tendons combine to lock the ball in to the socket and provide stability while you’re using your arm.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Many different conditions can cause shoulder joint pain. The most common cause is osteoarthritis. You can think of this as “wear and tear” on the joint. Over time, and through use, possibly with the help of overuse or even trauma, the cartilage within the joint begins to wear out. Eventually, it will disappear and bone will rub on bone, creating pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving.
Another cause is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is an autoimmune disease. In this disease, the membrane becomes inflamed and swollen. This causes stiffness, and the thickened membrane will eventually wear away the cartilage, causing further pain and loss of mobility.
A torn rotator cuff can also lead to serious shoulder joint pain. A large, long-lasting tear can lead to a condition called rotator cuff arthropathy, in which the tear causes changes in the joint, which then leads to arthritis. Osteonecrosis, lingering damage from trauma, and severe fractures can also cause shoulder pain and joint stiffness.
If you are experiencing pain in the shoulder joint, contact Orthopaedic Associates in Houston to discuss your symptoms and possible treatment options.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Orthopedic specialists may use several different treatment options to help eliminate shoulder pain. First, you will go through a complete evaluation, including a physical examination of your shoulder and range of movement, a discussion of your symptoms, X-rays, a discussion of your medical history, and possibly other tests. Based on the results of these assessments, the orthopedic surgeon will explain your treatment options.
For many patients, non-surgical treatment, such as using over-the-counter pain medication and physical therapy, may be an option. For others, a period of rest and inactivity combined with physical therapy might be appropriate. However, for degenerative joint disease, RA, or other conditions in which the cartilage has worn away, shoulder replacement surgery may be the only option. With that being said, there are several types of shoulder replacement surgery that may alleviate symptoms.
Types of Shoulder Surgery
Total shoulder replacement is the most common type of shoulder surgery. It is similar to total hip replacement surgery in that the head of the humerus is removed, a metal ball and stem are inserted, and a plastic socket is installed in the shoulder.
Another possible type of surgery is stemmed hemiarthroplasty, which involves replacing just the damaged ball of the joint. Resurfacing may also be possible for younger, active patients. This involves replacing only the joint surface of the head with an artificial cap.
Is Shoulder Surgery Right for You?
You don’t have to live with shoulder pain and loss of mobility. Shoulder replacement surgery may be an option. However, this is not the right procedure for everyone. Contact Orthopaedic Associates in Houston to schedule an in-person consultation to discuss your symptoms, evaluate your shoulder joint, and learn more about the treatment options.