Most people think joint problems may be limited to athletes and older adults, but when it comes to shoulder pain, everyone is at risk. The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body, making it very prone to strains and tears. If pain and discomfort develop and range of motion decreases, replacement surgery may be considered.
Patrick Noud, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Michigan Orthopedic Center and affiliate of McLaren Greater Lansing, notes there are two types of shoulder replacement surgeries available depending on the cause and severity of the pain or injury.
“Anatomic shoulder replacement takes the ball of the shoulder joint and what we consider the socket, and replaces both those pieces,” said Dr. Noud. “The main reason someone would have this type of surgery is for run-of-the mill osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis as a result of a trauma or fracture that now led to an arthritic pathway.”
Those who have osteoarthritis often have symptoms that are slow and progress over time. They may start to lose range of motion over the course of several years and develop cracking and popping around the joint area that becomes stiffer and louder.
A reverse shoulder replacement does just what it sounds like, replaces the ball and socket with a socket and a ball, a reverse of the components.
“This surgery results in a more stabilized shoulder,” said Dr. Noud. “This type of surgery is used for someone who has a more severe injury to the shoulder, such as a rotator cuff tear, or from a series of events that has lost the soft tissue envelope around the shoulder.”
While people often delay going to the doctor about shoulder pain, the pain and discomfort can eventually disrupt them from being able to do daily activities they normally like to do.
“Shoulder replacement is a successful surgery option that improves your quality of life,” said Dr. Noud. “If you have enough pain in your shoulder where it is affecting you at night and you are having difficulty lifting your arm, then it’s worth being seen to give you an idea of what the problem is and options available to you.”
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