Although not as common as arthritis of the lower extremity, shoulder arthritis does occur and can be very painful and debilitating Today, about 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery each year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Shoulder arthritis can be easily diagnosed using examination techniques and x-rays. It is initially treated with activity modification, anti-inflammatories, gentle exercise, and possibly cortisone injection.
If non-surgical management fails, the patient may benefit from shoulder replacement surgery. Similar to hip and knee replacement, shoulder replacement surgery involves removing the arthritic portions of the joint and replacing them.
Some patients who have a significant rotator cuff tear in addition to the arthritis may benefit from a Reverse Shoulder Replacement that can improve motion and function in this select group of patients.
A patient who has shoulder replacement surgery can expect a short hospital stay, limited use of their arm in sling for specified period of time, and a gradual therapy program to regain motion and strength.