If you think shoulder pain is only limited to the elderly or athletes, think again! In fact, it’s one of the most common areas that people are affected. The joint where your upper arm connects to your body is a ball-and-socket joint. The bone in your upper arm is called the humerus bone that has a round end which fits into the curvature on the outside of your shoulder blade. Ligaments and tendons hold it together. The ball and socket allow movement in the arm and legs.
Contrary to popular belief, damage to this region is highly possible and causes immense pain and distress. Although shoulder replacement is not as rampant as hip or ankle replacement procedures; joint replacement surgery is considered to be one of the safer and more effective procedures to relieve shoulder pain. It also helps you regain mobility to resume regular activities.
What is shoulder replacement surgery?
In shoulder replacement surgery, the broken part(s) of the shoulder is carefully removed. They are then replaced with artificial components which are known as a prosthesis. Originally they were made of polypropylene, however, they are now made using lightweight carbon fibre.
Amongst the most effective treatments, replacement of the humerus bone (ball), or the replacement of both the ball and the socket is preferred.
Various people of different age groups may develop severe conditions and witness situations where the shoulder joint needs to be replaced. Here are some of the causes or reasons that call for a shoulder joint replacement:
- Damaged rotator cuff arthropathy
Someone with a chronic rotator cuff tear can develop cuff tear arthropathy. Sudden shifts or changes in the shoulder joint may result in arthritis and disintegration of the joint cartilage.
- Post-traumatic Arthritis
This is a condition caused mostly post-injury. Fractured bones in the shoulders or ligament tears cause moderate to extreme pain, restricting the shoulder’s movement.
- Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease)
It’s a type of arthritis that’s typical with elderly people- results of wear and tear. People of the age range of 50 and above are generally who develop this condition. However, it may not be specific to age. It’s caused due to the wear and tear of the cartilage that provides padding to the shoulder bones. Pain and stiffening of the joint causes osteoarthritis. It’s also a common reason why people opt for shoulder replacement procedures.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
This condition affects the synovial membrane which surrounds the joint where it swells and thickens. Such chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage that results in disruptive movement and pain.
Avascular necrosis is a painful condition that develops when the blood supply to the bone is obstructed. Due to the lack of blood supply, bone cells die and can ultimately result in severe pain of the shoulder joint. This further leads to arthritis.
There is no defined way to guard yourself against shoulder joint injury, however, consuming calcium and potassium-rich foods can help strengthen your bones. Apart from that, avoiding extreme strenuous exercises must be avoided as it can increase the risk of damaged or injured bones. However, the only proven solution to treat such conditions is shoulder replacement surgery.