The world-class team of JRC orthopaedic surgeons specialise in diagnosing and treating all kinds of shoulder and elbow conditions, ranging from the routine to the highly complex. Most procedures are performed using keyhole surgery, reducing recovery times and allowing rehabilitation to begin sooner.
There are a number of conditions that can affect the shoulder which a total shoulder replacement may be able to treat. The most common conditions which may require the procedure are:
Arthritis describes a condition caused by the cartilage in the shoulder joint wearing away. This results in the loss of cushioning between the bones and causes ongoing pain.
Arthritis can have a range of causes – osteoarthritis is where the cartilage deterioration happens over time as we age (hence it is also called ‘degenerative joint disease’). It generally develops from the age of fifty.
Another cause of arthritis is any inflammation of the lining of the shoulder joint – this is called ‘rheumatoid arthritis’. The final form of arthritis is where cartilage damage is caused by some type of injury (‘trauma’) to the shoulder. In this case it is referred to as ‘post-traumatic arthritis’.
Referred to as a ‘fracture of the proximal humerus’, this is very common in older – especially female – patients, often caused by a fall. Where the resultant fracture is severe there may be many shards of bone which can be challenging to re-assemble and decreased blood supply to the bone.
Reverse total shoulder replacement may be the best treatment option with a severe proximal humerus fracture in the elderly.
Also referred to as ‘avascular necrosis’, this is the death of bone tissue caused by lack of blood supply, which, if affecting the shoulder joint, can destroy it. Osteonecrosis is a risk where there has been a previous severe fracture, or where there is a history of alcohol abuse or steroid abuse. It can also be a risk in deep sea divers if they decompress too quickly (causing ‘the bends’).
Massive tears of the rotator cuff tendons in elderly can lead to pseudoparalysis or in more severe cases a condition called cuff tear arthropathy. This condition is managed with a Reverse total shoulder replacement.
In some cases, the prosthetic joint may loosen, shift out of position or become infected, in which case a revision procedure will be necessary.