A human shoulder (glenohumeral joint) is a ball-and-socket joint. The three major boney elements that form the shoulder include the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collar bone).
The ball portion, called the humeral head, is part of the upper arm bone which is a tubular bone, while the socket portion (glenoid) is part of the shoulder blade which is a roughly triangular bone. The glenohumeral joint is formed where humeral head fits into the cup-shaped glenoid.
Shoulder Joint Replacement
It is a procedure in which all or damaged part of the joint is replaced with artificial components, called prosthesis.
Also called shoulder arthroplasty, the surgery works well for many patients who have painful arthritis in their shoulder or who have had their glenohumeral ligaments damaged or worn away due to injury. Glenohumeral is the most movable joint in the human body, hence the frequently dislocated major joint of the body. Glenohumeral arthritis causes acute pain and stiffness in shoulder and affects your range of joint motion and your ability to do everyday work.
In the surgery, surgeon removes the damaged ball and socket of the shoulder and replaces them with prosthetic implants. The artificial ball and socket are made up of plastic or metal and high density plastic and are designed in a shape of original joint parts, allowing the glenohumeral joint to move quite normally. The surgery usually is performed under general anesthesia but sometimes regional anesthesia is used.
After the Surgery
After successful surgery most patients are able to sit up and get out of bed with some assistance. However, you will not be allowed by your doctor to use the shoulder muscles for several weeks after the surgery. It may take you approximately four weeks to start being normal in your activities.
Life after Shoulder Replacement
The first aim of this surgery is to provide significant relief to the pain as well as restore the normal and proper activities of the shoulder. It also allows most of the patients to do many of their routine activities more easily. After the surgery, the new joint moves as far as it did before, thus enabling you to resume activities such as swimming, walking for exercise, golfing, dancing, or riding a bike.
Risks and Complications
There are some risks and complications associated with this surgery. Some common problems may include stiffness in muscle and instable motion of glenohumeral joint which can be due to the incomplete post-op rehabilitation. Infections, blood clots, delay in wound healing and nerve injury are other common complications. Some serious problems include dislocation of the upper arm bone, fracture of the humerus and lack of good range of shoulder joint motion.
Unfortunately, the cost of this surgery can be extremely daunting if you are from any First World country, namely the USA, Canada, Australia, or the UK. Patients from these regions can avail the cost-effective surgery for their arthritic shoulder in any medical tourism destination.