Total Shoulder Replacement

Total Shoulder Replacement

It’s no surprise that the shoulders are subject to a lot of wear and tear due to the amount of stress we put on them on a daily basis. The result of this for many people is a higher likelihood of injuries and the development of age-related conditions like arthritis. While conservative treatments are very often effective for shoulder problems, surgery can become a serious consideration in some cases. 

One option for cases where there is extensive damage to the shoulder joint is total shoulder replacement. For people dealing with serious pain and mobility problems in the shoulder, this procedure can offer the best chance of lasting relief and good quality of life. To learn more about this form of surgery, take some time to read over the following information. The BEST Health System team is here to help and will be glad to answer any questions you have. 

Primary Conditions Treated with Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

A total shoulder replacement is most often recommended for patients with the following conditions that have caused significant damage to the shoulder joint:

  • Osteoarthritis of the shoulder 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Severe shoulder fractures 

With both types of arthritis, inflammation of the joints is caused by the wearing down of protective joint cartilage that causes bones to rub against each other. In addition to pain and stiffness, this joint inflammation can cause abnormal bone growth or bone spurs to develop and can cause the bone itself to become severely damaged. These effects can cause the condition to progress even further, creating a vicious cycle that makes symptoms and damages worse. 

Another issue that can be treated with total shoulder replacement is a severe fracture. While shoulder fractures can often heal without the need for surgery, if there is fracturing in multiple locations and the physician is unable to reset the joint properly, total joint replacement can offer the best chance of restoring function and mobility in the shoulder. 

Shoulder surgery is almost always considered a last resort treatment and is typically recommended in cases where the pain is severe and debilitating and conservative options, such as medication and physical therapy, are not proving to be effective.

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery Procedure Overview

There are many different approaches to shoulder replacement surgery, including different types of implants and levels of invasiveness. In a total shoulder replacement, typically both the ball of the joint, in the upper arm and the socket of the joint in the shoulder are replaced by custom-fitted prosthetic replacements that serve the exact function of the joint. 

Advances in technology and technique, including direct visualization equipment, have helped surgeons learn how to access the shoulder and perform a total joint replacement with less disruption to soft tissue. Total shoulder replacements can even be performed on an outpatient basis. 

Total Shoulder Replacement Considerations

There are a number of factors that determine the cost for patients undergoing total shoulder replacement surgery. This includes the extent of the procedure, whether there is a hospital stay, type of implant, and insurance carrier. Medicare will typically cover total shoulder replacement surgery when deemed necessary by a physician. 

BEST Health System facilities accept Medicare, most private health insurances, as well as workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. A member of our dedicated team will be glad to help you find answers to your questions about any cost considerations. 

Get In Touch With the BEST Health System Team Today

To learn more about our full range of treatment options for shoulder pain and immobility, including conservative and surgical treatments, contact BEST Health System today. 

Procedure Doctors

Headshot of James D. Abbott, M.D.

James D. Abbott, M.D.

Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon

Best Surgery Center