Shoulder Hemiarthroplasty is a surgical procedure that replaces the diseased and degenerated half of the shoulder joint with a prosthetic while leaving the functional half intact. This procedure is performed in patients with the following conditions:

  1. When the humeral head (the “ball” of the joint) is diseased or damaged, while the glenoid (the “socket” of the joint) is still in good condition.
  2. In arthritis when the socket is very worn.
  3. In arthritis when the rotator cuff is torn.
  4. In certain types of fractures of the shoulder.

Once the damaged portion of the upper arm has been replaced, patients will notice immediate symptom relief, as the bone ends will no longer rub together and cause painful friction.

Shoulder replacement surgery is a rapidly evolving area of orthopaedics focused on treating specific, painful ailments of the shoulder joint. There are several surgical procedures to replace either all, or part of the shoulder joint.

If nonsurgical treatments such as medication and activity modification are no longer helpful for relieving pain, you may want to consider shoulder joint replacement surgery. Dr. Ahluwalia is a leading orthopaedic surgeon and shoulder hemiarthroplasty expert. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Causes of Shoulder Pain and Degeneration

Several conditions can cause shoulder pain and degeneration. Some of the most common include:

  • Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease) – This is seen in the elderly and is due to wear and tear of the shoulder joint.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – The membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. This can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis – Trauma or injury to the shoulder tendons or ligaments may damage the cartilage over time. This causes shoulder pain and limits shoulder function.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy – Degenerative changes in the shoulder joint due to a rotator cuff tear may lead to arthritis of the joint cartilage.
  • Avascular Necrosis – A painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the shoulder bone is disrupted, causing destruction of the shoulder joint and eventually leading to arthritis.
  • Severe Fractures – Commonly seen in the elderly who suffer from osteoporosis.

When to Get Shoulder Hemiarthroplasty?

Shoulder replacement surgery is usually done when your shoulder symptoms have not improved with nonsurgical options such as physical therapy, cortisone steroid injections, and medications. Reasons an orthopaedic surgeon may recommend shoulder hemiarthroplasty include, severe shoulder pain, symptoms that affect quality of life, and symptoms that haven’t responded to conservative treatment.

Recovery Following Shoulder Hemiarthroplasty

Recovery begins immediately following shoulder hemiarthroplasty. You will be monitored in a recovery room until the effects of the anesthesia wear off. Dr. Ahluwalia will prescribe medication, which may include painkillers to help manage any pain following the procedure and antibiotics to prevent infection. He will also discuss light exercises that you can begin in order to restore range of motion and strength. A follow up evaluation within 7-10 days will also be discussed with you, as well as any potential complications that you should be aware of following surgery.

Contact Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia today to schedule your consultation!