Shoulder replacement: When do you need it and how it helps
Joint replacement is a very common orthopaedic procedure performed on patients with degenerated or diseased joints. The surgery aims to remove the affected joint components and replace them with new components that have been created artificially to replicate the original joint. The procedure can be performed on different joints of the body including the knees, hips and shoulders. In this blog we have elaborated on shoulder replacement, and why one needs it, with the help of experts specialising in shoulder replacement in Gurugram.
What is a shoulder replacement?
In order to understand what is shoulder replacement, we first need to learn a little about the shoulder joint. It is a ball and socket joint, which means that it has a round head that fits into a shallow socket. So, there are basically 2 components. There are several other factors that can lead to the degeneration of any one of these components or both of them giving rise to the need for a shoulder replacement. As per the experts offering joint replacement in Gurugram, the procedure can be of 3 different types depending on the specific requirements of the patients, for instance -
- Anatomic total shoulder replacement, in which both the components of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced
- Reverse total shoulder replacement, in which both the components are replaced but the ball is replaced with a socket and vice versa.
- Partial shoulder replacement, in which only the ball is removed and replaced while the socket is left intact.
Why does one need shoulder replacement?
Now you must be wondering why one needs shoulder replacement. Well, the aim of any joint replacement procedure is to relieve pain and other symptoms as well as to improve functionality, and the same holds true for shoulder replacement. The procedure is an option for patients who have been experiencing chronic shoulder pain often accompanied by other complications like limited range of motion and reduced flexibility. It is pertinent to note that there are several reasons that may be responsible for it. We have elaborated on some of these with the help of a top joint replacement surgeon.
- Osteoarthritis - It is a degenerative joint disease that is characterised by age-related wear and tear of the shoulder joint. The cartilage that lies between two conjoining bones withers away slowly owing to excessive or repetitive use. As a result of this, there is no protective barrier between the two bones and they start rubbing against each other leading to friction and pain. It is most commonly seen in people in the age group of 50 years or above, however, this does not mean that it doesn't affect younger people. Many young adults may also need shoulder replacement because of osteoarthritis.
- Rotator cuff injuries - A rotator cuff tear is one of the most common causes of pain and disability related to shoulders. It is marked by the partial or complete detachment of a tendon from the ball of the shoulder joint. The condition usually affects the supraspinatus tendon. The damage is usually gradual and progresses with time.
- Shoulder fracture - It refers to a crack in the bones that make up the shoulder. These are usually a result of a traumatic injury or blow. Such injuries can gradually lead to the wearing out of the shoulder joint, commonly referred to as post-traumatic arthritis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis - It is an autoimmune disease triggered when the body’s immunity starts attacking the joints leading to inflammation of the synovial membrane. This gradually damages the cartilage and it starts to wither away giving rise to immense pain and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to the formation of nodules or lumps near the affected joint. The condition is progressive in nature. It cannot be cured, however, it can be managed with medication.
- Osteonecrosis - Also referred to as avascular necrosis, the condition is marked by extreme pain that is triggered by a limited supply of blood to the shoulder joint. This depletes the cells and tissues of oxygen, causing them to die. Osteonecrosis can drastically affect the shoulder joint leading to irreversible damage and unbearable pain.
How can a shoulder replacement help you?
A shoulder replacement can help to relieve pain, improve the mobility of your shoulder joint and increase the range of motion. It can help the patient to get back to a normal life, without any complications.
To know more about shoulder replacement or to find out if it is an option for you, consult the top joint replacement surgeons in Gurugram.
Dr. Rohit Lamba,
HOD and Sr. Consultant, Bone, Joint Replacement and Orthopedics