Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

By Tim Burkhart, PT

A total Shoulder Arthroplasty is a shoulder replacement. A total shoulder replacement is usually needed with severe shoulder arthritis.

Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

What is a Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

The quick answer is that a total shoulder arthroplasty is a shoulder joint replacement.  A total shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure designed to alleviate pain, improve range of motion and improve overall functional mobility by replacing the natural joint because of pain due to degenerative changes and/or severe rotator cuff dysfunction.  There are two types of total shoulder replacement procedures:

  1. Traditional Shoulder Replacement
  2. Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement


What is Traditional Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

This procedure is performed to decreased pain and dysfunction associated with severe arthritic changes in the shoulder.  In this procedure the entire shoulder joint is replaced by metal and plastic prosthetic device.  The ball (humeral head) is replaced with a metal component, while the socket is replaced with a plastic component.  The prosthetic components are designed to mimic the natural joint as closely as possible.


What is a Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

The reverse shoulder procedure is typically performed for patients who have massive rotator cuff damage or have gone through a failed rotator cuff repair surgery.  In a reverse replacement, the socket is placed in the end of the arm and the ball is placed where the socket would be on the shoulder blade.  When there is significant rotator cuff dysfunction it is necessary for the orientation of the replacement components to be reversed,  This optimizes potential range of motion, functional mobility and decreasing pain due to associated arthritic changes in the joint.

Anatomy of the Shoulder and muscles that make up the rotator cuff

Shoulder anatomy 

If you would like to learn more about the Anatomy of the Shoulder, this VIDEO can help.

How Long is Recovery After Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

During the early phase of recovery from the traditional procedure, movement of the shoulder joint is limited to allow healing of the muscle that were cut during the surgery and allow ample time for the cement used to adhere the components to the bones.  Following the reverse shoulder, motion is encouraged early and the overall recovery time is typically faster than the traditional procedure.  With both procedures the patient will participate in 8-12 weeks of formal physical therapy, followed by approximately 6 months of a home exercise program.  Overall recovery with regard to pain, range of motion and functional mobility can take up to 6-12 months.


What is the Success Rate And Risk with Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Pain reduction, strength, range of motion and overall function after these procedures have been found to be approximately 90% effective in patients ranging from 60 to 80 years old.

Complications with any type of joint replacement surgery may include:

  • Dislocation
  • Infection
  • Loosening of the replacement components
  • Reactions to the metal implant
  • Defects in the components themselves

Following these procedures the surgeon will also monitor the patient for rare, but possible vascular or neurological issues that could arise over time.


Where Do I Go For A Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

The quick answer is the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute.  JOI is Northeast Florida’s Leader in Orthopedic Care and Joint Replacement Surgery.  Go Where the Pros Go!  We offer ASAP Appointments and Telehealth visits as needed.

To see a JOI Orthopedic Shoulder Specialist, call JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

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