Common Reasons for Shoulder Arthroplasty
1. Arthritis of the shoulder joint: Most often occurring in patients over the age of 50, this degenerative condition causes stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint as protective cartilage wears down over the years. Your doctor may first recommend anti-inflammatory medication, but if that, combined with other non-surgical treatment options, do not result in pain relief or improved mobility, then it may be time to seriously consider the benefits of total shoulder replacement. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common reasons that patients have this procedure.
2. Fractures: In the case of severe injury, the head (or ball) of the arm bone can be damaged so badly that it cannot be restored and therefore must be replaced. Depending upon the health of the clavicle (the socket portion of the shoulder joint), a surgeon may recommend a partial or total shoulder replacement to replace the broken bone, stabilize the joint and restore function.
3. Rotator Cuff Tear: A rotator cuff tear happens when a patient sustains an injury to one of the four muscles that wrap around the upper portion of the arm bone. These muscles are essential for providing stability in the shoulder joint and when long-term tears are left unaddressed, arthritis can result. Over time, the joint suffers due to lack of stability and the onset of arthritis. A shoulder replacement may be recommended.
A total shoulder replacement is usually done when a person has such severe pain in their shoulder that it limits their ability to move their arm, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Causes of this kind of severe shoulder pain, according to the NIH, include:
Badly broken arm bone near the shoulder
Badly damaged tissue in the shoulder
Poor result of a previous shoulder surgery
Tumor in or around the shoulder