The Shoulder Joint
It is a ball and socket made up of the top of the arm bone (Humerus) and the shoulder blade (Scapula). The socket is known as the Glenoid cavity.
Reasons for Shoulder Replacement (Indications)
The common reason is pain in the shoulder, which may be due to Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis and other problems in the joint. The replacement may be partial (Hemiarthroplasty) or Total (including the Glenoid) shoulder replacement.
Preparation before Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Please keep in mind that your arm that is going to be operated is going to be in a sling for at least 6 weeks. So, you may wish to make arrangements for home help during the period or make adjustments accordingly to your home. Doing a mock immobilisation of your arm in a sling around the house, may give you an idea of your limitations that you are likely to face at your home, in the post-operative period.
The Procedure of Shoulder Replacement
A skin incision is made in the groove between the Deltoid (shoulder) and Pectoral (chest) muscles. Through careful dissection of skin, fat, fascia, muscle and capsule, the shoulder joint is approached. The joint surfaces are carefully prepared and the prostheses (artificial joints) are implanted. They may be cemented or un-cemented.
After implantation, the tissues are carefully repaired back and dressings applied. The arm is immobilised in a sling.
Post-operative rehabilitation after Shoulder Joint Replacement Surgery
Once you are comfortably mobilising, with your arm in a sling, you will be discharged home. Your shoulder will be immobilised, to give the tissues a chance to heal and gradually over weeks and months, you will be advised to increase your activity.