The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and trauma related arthritis. The shoulder joint consists of three bones - the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collar bone) and humerus (upper arm bone).
Shoulder arthritis may be treated with exercise, however even with exercise the pain is likely to persist and can lead to a rotator cuff tear, a condition that is extremely painful. Function of the shoulder is permanently lost due to the tear of the rotator cuff tendons at the surface of the shoulder joint.
At this point, finding a good orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder replacement surgery with a cuff tear arthropathy (CTA) is your best option. The best treatment for shoulder arthritis when the rotator cuff is intact is total shoulder replacement.
Shoulder replacement is less common than knee replacement or hip replacement, but it is just as successful in relieving joint pain. Shoulder replacement surgery was originally used to treat severe shoulder fractures, however now its main indication is for shoulder joint relief due to arthritis.
Arthritis affects the cartilage in the joints. Severe shoulder arthritis is when the cartilage in the shoulder joints has completely worn away from years of wear and tear, causing bone rubbing on bone.
Pain can be controlled on a short-term basis with medication, but it is not something one should consider as a lifetime solution. Eventually shoulder replacement should be undergone to relieve pain and allow maximum function and movement of the shoulder joint.
Patients who are older that have significant pain and little or no movement in their shoulder are the best candidates for shoulder replacement. This procedure is also ideal for patients with chronic, long-standing arthritis and rotator-cuff.
The technology and materials currently used in shoulder replacement surgery provides function to the shoulder joints just as a healthy joint would. Plastic and metal implants are used to replace the ball and socket joints of the shoulder.
Shoulder replacement surgery usually lasts about 2-3 hours. The patient is put on general anesthesia and will spend about one hour in the recovery room. The patient will be told not to eat or drink anything on the day of the surgery. X-rays and screenings will be taken either at your local doctor or they will be taken by the doctor prior to your surgery.