Shoulder Resurfacing & Replacement
Many of us know someone with an artificial knee or hip joint. Shoulder replacement is less common, but it is just as successful in relieving joint pain and, over the years, has come to be used for many painful conditions of the shoulder.
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that enables you to raise, twist, and bend your arm. It also lets you move your arm forward, to the side, and behind you. In a normal shoulder, the rounded end of the upper arm bone glides against the small dish-like socket in the shoulder blade. These joint surfaces are normally covered with smooth cartilage. They allow the shoulder to rotate through a greater range of motion than any other joint in the body.
The surrounding muscles and tendons provide stability and support. Unfortunately, various conditions can lead to cartilage loss and mechanical deterioration of the shoulder joint. You can have a stiff shoulder that grinds or clunks. This can lead to a loss of strength, decreased range of motion in the shoulder, impaired function and pain.
When exercises and medications are no longer effective, you will want to discuss shoulder replacement surgery with Dr. Ferro. In this operation, Dr. Ferro replaces the shoulder joint with an artificial ball and socket. The success of the operation often depends on the condition of rotator cuff muscles prior to surgery and the degree to which you follow the exercise program.
In young and more active patients a regenerative, cementless surgery using what's called a “non-prosthetic glenoid arthroplasty” may be recommended for shoulder arthritis.
About the Surgery
If you and Dr. Ferro decide shoulder surgery is the right treatment for you, it is important that you prepare ahead of time. Your arm will be in a sling following surgery. Discuss your needs with your spouse or a friend who can help. You will need to arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital and to stay with you to help with meal preparation and other household tasks for one to two weeks after being discharged from the hospital. You should ensure that your home is prepared for you to manage with very limited use of your arm for several weeks after your surgery.
The surgery will be performed in a hospital where you should expect to stay just 1 or 2 days. Typically you will undergo general anesthesia and you may be administered regional nerve blocks for post-operative pain control.
You should consult with the staff at the Bone & Joint Center to arrange outpatient physical rehabilitation sessions. A physical rehabilitation program is important after surgery to regain full range of motion. Passive shoulder exercises (where someone else moves the arm to rotate the shoulder joint) are started soon after surgery. You will begin exercising on your own about 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. Eventually, stretching and strengthening exercises become a major part of the rehabilitation program.
To learn more, go to our Frequently Asked Questions or call us for an appointment at
805-481-3685 in Arroyo Grande.