You've probably heard of professional athletes who miss several games or an entire season after a shoulder injury. But shoulder problems are common among the general population, too. You may not realize how often you use your shoulders to reach, push, pull or lift until you experience pain, stiffness or weakness.
If your symptoms prevent you from performing everyday tasks, shoulder replacement surgery may help where other treatments haven’t.
Your shoulder is a very flexible joint. It allows more range of motion than any other joint in your body.
The shoulder is called a ball-and-socket joint because of the way your bones fit together. The end of your upper arm has a rounded shape, like a ball. It fits into a cup-shaped hollow (socket) in your shoulder blade. A layer of slippery tissue (cartilage) connects these bones and helps them glide against each other.
People can have shoulder pain for several reasons:
Mild shoulder pain may be managed with medication or physical therapy. But if your pain gets worse, it can interfere with normal activity. You may have trouble pulling on a shirt, washing your hair or reaching into a cupboard.
Shoulder replacement surgery replaces the damaged parts of your shoulder with metal or plastic parts. These artificial parts are sometimes called an implant or prosthesis.
After surgery most patients report little or no pain and a stronger, working shoulder. And modern implants may last 10-20 years before needing replacement.
If you’re tired of living with shoulder pain or instability, Mercy’s orthopedic surgeons can help. Our doctors have experience diagnosing and treating most shoulder problems. These include osteoarthritis, fractures and rotator cuff injuries.
Together you and your doctor will decide if shoulder replacement surgery is right for you. Depending on your diagnosis, you may have one of the following procedures:
Shoulder pain doesn’t have to be permanent. Talk to your Mercy physician about your treatment options. Whether you’re tired of sitting on the sidelines or have given up gardening, we’ll help you get back in the game.