In a total shoulder, the arthritic surface of the ball is replaced with a metal ball with a stem that is press fit in the inside of the arm bone (humerus) and the socket is resurfaced with a high density polyethylene component.

After a general or regional anesthetic, this procedure is performed through an incision between the deltoid and the pectoralis major muscles on the front of the shoulder. It includes release of adhesion and contractual and removal of bone spurs that may block range of motion. Our team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and surgical assistants usually perform this procedure in less than two hours. The arthritic surface of the ball is replaced with a metal ball with a stem that is press fit down the inside of the arm bone (humerus) so that only the smooth surface extends from the bone.

 What Is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is a condition in which degeneration, injury, inflammation or previous surgery destroys the normally smooth cartilage on the ball (humeral head) and socket (glenoid).

 How Is Shoulder Arthritis Diagnosed?

Carefully standardized x-rays reveal the loss of the space between the humeral head and glenoid that is normally occupied by cartilage, leaving bone on bone contact.

Who Should Consider A Total Shoulder?

Surgery for shoulder arthritis should only be considered when the arthritis is limiting the quality of the patient’s life and after a trial of physical therapy and mild analgesics. Severe arthritis is usually best managed by either a partial or a complete joint replacement. Total shoulder arthroplasty (replacing the surfaces of both the ball and the socket) is usually considered by individuals who want the best chance of a rapid recovery of shoulder comfort and the ability to perform activities of daily living.

Who Should Probably Not Consider A Total Shoulder Replacement?

This procedure is less likely to be successful in individuals with depression, obesity, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple previous shoulder surgeries, shoulder joint infections, rotator cuff deficiency and severely altered shoulder anatomy.