Replacement of an arthritic or injured shoulder is less common than knee or hip replacement. However, shoulder replacement typically offers all the same benefits as those procedures — including joint pain relief and the restoration of more normal joint movement.
Restoring your movement is particularly important in the shoulder, because it’s the mechanism that allows your arm to rotate in every direction. If you’re experiencing severe shoulder pain and reduced shoulder movement, there are probably many daily activities you can no longer do — or do as comfortably — as before your shoulder problems began. This may mean you’re ready to consider shoulder replacement surgery.
In shoulder replacement surgery, the artificial shoulder joint can have either two or three parts, depending on the type of surgery required.
- The humeral component (metal)
- The humeral head component (metal)
- The glenoid component (plastic) replaces the surface of the socket
There are two types of shoulder replacement procedures:
- Partial shoulder replacement is performed when the glenoid socket is intact and does not need to be replaced. In this procedure, the humeral component is implanted, and the humeral head is replaced.
- Total shoulder replacement is performed when the glenoid socket is damaged and needs to be replaced. All three shoulder joint components are used in this procedure.
What’s involved in shoulder surgery?
Certain parts of your shoulder joint are removed and replaced with a plastic or metal device called a prosthesis, or artificial joint. The artificial shoulder joint can have either two or three parts, depending on the type of surgery required.
- The humeral component (metal) is implanted in the humerus, or upper arm bone.
- The humeral head component (metal) replaces the humeral head at the top of the humerus.
- The glenoid component (plastic) replaces the surface of the glenoid socket, or shoulder socket.