Shoulder Replacement

The shoulder is a classic "ball and socket" joint, whereby the ball of the humerus (long bone in upper arm) rotates in a socket called the glenoid. The practice of shoulder replacement surgery (arthroplasty) has undergone rapid development in the past two decades. Whilst this procedure is relatively new in comparison to hip and knee replacement surgery, shoulder replacement has proved to be a reliable technique for the relief of the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Progressive cartilage loss from the surfaces of the joint leads to arthritic change. Arthroplasty involves replacing the worn surfaces with a combination of light, but strong metals and plastic (ultra dense polyethylene). There are a variety of replacements available, and the exact type required depends on the degree of damage to the joint and the health of the surrounding tendons.