Orthopedics & Sports Medicine blog

July 24, 2017

Shoulder Replacement Surgery at Sauk Prairie Healthcare

Shoulder Replacement Surgery at Sauk Prairie Healthcare

Dr. David Marcu: Once therapy has been done, and it's really not doing the trick and you're seeing a doctor, you'll often see an orthopedic surgeon at that point or even before. And then you would come talk to us and we'd examine you again, but X-rays are important. Actually, you have X-rays even before your therapy visit, normally. And if, in fact, you had serious arthritis in your shoulder, if you were missing cartilage or missing padding in your shoulder, and therapy wasn't doing the trick, then there are good surgical options. And that would be things like shoulder replacement, or partial shoulder replacement, or shoulder resurfacing or reverse shoulder replacement. There are details among all those, but the basics are, you're getting rid of what's worn out, and luckily, we can now replace that with a new shoulder

A shoulder is basically a little bit like a ball in a socket joint. Not quite, it's not that simple, but it's a little bit like that and you're actually giving someone a new ball on a new socket without the wear and tear and arthritis there anymore, so it shouldn't hurt.

Now, there's another type of replacement called a reverse shoulder replacement, which is very similar except it's used for other circumstances. Like, if you have bad arthritis but you also don't have a good rotator cuff is the main reason for it. If you don't have a good rotator cuff, which are the muscles that stabilize the shoulder, and you have arthritis, meaning you don't have the cartilage padding, then a regular shoulder replacement won't work. It would fail.

There's what's called a partial shoulder replacement or a resurfacing. They're very similar. That is when you're just dealing with the ball side of the ball and socket, just the top of the humerus bone. But, you're not resurfacing the socket side, so it's not technically a total shoulder, it's a partial shoulder replacement or a hemiarthroplasty. A resurfacing is when you take off the surface of that ball rather than take off the ball itself. What it usually means is one night in the hospital, generally, and then home with therapy after that, with a number of visits to us. But, people who have it done, and the people who do do really well, do great. They're very happy they did it.

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