Total Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery has been routinely performed since the 1970's. But the materials used in today's implants offer patients better range of motion post-surgery.

Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Traditional total shoulder replacement is referred to as "total shoulder arthroplasty." In total shoulder replacement surgery, there are essentially two implants used: a ball that replaces the head of the humerus (anchored by a stem that is secured into the main arm bone), and a plastic cup or socket that replaced the glenoid.

Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty

Another type of shoulder replacement, developed in Europe in the 1980's and approved by the FDA for use in the United States in 2004, is suitable for individuals who have extensive damage within the shoulder, as well as significant weakness and pain. This type of replacement is called "reverse shoulder arthroplasty." It also involves replacement of the humeral head and the glenoid, but the positions of each are reversed. This procedure redirects the work of the shoulder joint to the stronger deltoid muscle instead of the rotator cuff, which generally gives patients a wider range of movement with decreased pain and discomfort.